In preparation for my first road race on Saturday I solicited advice from pretty much anyone and everyone who has either (a) completed the Shamrock Run in the past or (b) has compete in any type of running event.
Today, I'm reviewing the words of wisdom I received and noting that almost all of it revolves around relaxing and having fun.
Pam at the gym gave me some tactical advice. She told me not place myself too far in the back, since I won't be as slow as I think I am, and to run a bit to the outside to avoid feeling boxed in. That also will give me a chance to fall in line with people who are running my pace.
Matt at Canisius told me to look over the course so I'm not surprised by any hills. (Are there hills in South Buffalo?)
Allen who works with the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge told me to trust my training and push myself a bit because I'll be able to do more than I think possible.
This week I also ran into Blaise MacDonald, the former Niagara hockey coach and current coach at UMass-Lowell. He has run several marathons so I asked for his advice:
"Enjoy it," he told me. "People can get all caught up in it being a race. It's fun. Just enjoy yourself."
And that's pretty much what everyone told me. I have a "race plan" from my coach which is pretty basic: I start off "easy and cheesy" and let anyone pass who wants to. I should gradually pick up my pace and aim to have my fastest mile be my last.
Oh, and did I mention before she won't let me run with my iPod?
Other than that, the goal is simple: Just run and have fun. That's what the actual racing is all about anyway.