Race Day Hydration And Gear – HELP!!

I am at a total loss on what to do for water on race day. I know there is water provided on the course, but it’s not as simple as that is it? And music? Ugh. I can’t figure this out.

A little background here, I have never run a race with a hydration belt or pack. Normally I run half marathons and, for training, I station water on my route and, for race day, I just drink what is provided. But with the marathon, I’m rethinking everything. I’m over-analyzing everything.

water station

no thanks! i brought my own! ???

This summer has been so hot that I haven’t run without a CamelBak ever! I’ve grown so attached to it now. I can’t imagine not being able to sip water whenever I feel like it and in great quantity. But it’s also been 90-100 degrees and higher for all of my runs. At 50 degrees in DC in October, will I feel the same way? I can’t visualize running in cooler temps. Even in “cool weather” here (80 degrees), I still want a lot of water on long runs. At the Miami Half this past February, it was very hot and I practically camped out at the water stations. That’s a whole ‘nuther story but, suffice it to say, it was like Thunderdome – two men enter, one man leaves! There was so much fighting and muscling people out at the water stations like I have never seen before. And it was so hot that I was definitely grabbing several cups. All I can think about is whether Marine Corps will be the same and how all those minutes screwing around at water tables add up. They sure did for Miami.

Yes, MCM reversed the ban on CamelBaks. And while I love now having that option, it’s still not a clear decision for me. I want to enjoy race day as much as I can and I’m not sure that includes a CamelBak that I may empty by mile 20 and still have to haul 6 more miles. On the other hand, a belt will be the same way won’t it? How quickly before I empty two 8oz bottles, even if I just use them for spares? (I’m only deciding between a 2 bottle belt and the CamelBak, not the 4 bottle belt, otherwise might


marine voluntold

as well do the pack). Sure, the bottle belt has a little pouch to be able to take an inhaler or MAYBE the iPhone 6 (not likely, that thing is huge). But again, do I want all that crap with me? Also, I ended up buying a Dart. I was lured in with the shorter nozzle and with the seemingly streamlined design update. But I ran with it last night and it wasn’t good. Yes, some things were good. But it was jumping a lot on my shoulders. I couldn’t tie it down well enough, unlike my Slipstream. That’s why I’m freaking out now. My beloved CamelBak is not looking like the panacea I thought it was. Maybe I just have to mess with it some more? If it felt better, this might be a no-brainer. The fact that it’s not fitting well now is the major reason for this renewed debate.

I’m also debating on going sans iPod as well. I just want to run it in a natural way. I have loathed all the gear I’ve had to carry with me all summer long. I just want to dump it all in a pile and grab my shoes and run the marathon! Old school! That would make me happy.

And that’s the question isn’t it? What would make me happy? That’s what my husband asked me. My answer was to run Marine Corps without anything and to be strong enough to not need my safety blanket (aka CamelBak) or my mental crutch (iPod). Of course his answer was “Well do it!” But I’m scared. That’s what it comes down to. I’m scared. He suggested I take the iPod and tuck it into my clothes and not use it unless I have to, but to me that’s cheating. It’s riding the fence. Either I use the iPod or I don’t. I just wish I was strong enough to say, fuck it, I don’t need it. It’s kind of funny but it takes me back to my first marathon at Bataan. Nobody had headphones or iPods or phones. We just had our own thoughts and conversation. And because none of us wanted to admit how much pain we were in or complain at all (long story but we had bets on who would complain first and what they would say, so nobody wanted to lose), we all just stayed silent. I don’t think any of us made a peep until mile 17. For the record, I didn’t lose the bet! Ha! Anyway, I worry that I’ll just go to this weak place in my mind and start slacking because I won’t have my music to buoy me. I feel like music might be just the “cheat” I need to push me through the marathon since my training has been so lacking this year.

But it’s so little and unobtrusive!

But that’s why it would be so special for me to NOT use the iPod! I didn’t turn my iPod on for the first 6 miles of Miami and it was so entertaining what was going on on the course! The conversations I heard were hilarious and interesting. Come to think of it, it was the same at Disney Wine & Dine. (Sarasota sucked, bring headsets!). And from what I hear from other blogs, people say MCM is just as amazing and entertaining.

So, yeah, these are my major concerns right now. The water is more pressing than the iPod of course. Because I know I could do it without my iPod. But without the water situation I’m currently used to? I worry about cramps (I’ve been plagued all summer) and just freaking out and thinking I need water asap or I’m going to die. On the other hand, maybe that will really regulate my water intake so I don’t revert back to “summer in south Florida” drinking style. That would be a disaster in 50 degree DC weather to start pounding water out of habit and have a very serious health issue going on.

water station

definitely looks like enough water!

I’d love to hear from other people on their marathon race day experiences! Marathon stories never get old to me. I need all the help I can get! In the meantime, I think this is where I am now…

Chance of using the following on race day:  (UPDATE:)

CamelBak – 25%  90%

Water Belt – 5%  0%

iPod – 45%  95%

3 responses to “Race Day Hydration And Gear – HELP!!

  1. If you have been training with your camel bak then by all means wear it. I don’t like running with a lot of junk in my trunk. TBH it’s a personal preference so it sounds like you’d be happier with it. Also, when I PR’d I did not run with music on that course. Just something to think about. 😉


  2. Pingback: Carrying My Water – The Fuel Belt Purchase | ishouldrun·

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s