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Final Prep for the Thunder Road Half Marathon

I’m two days away from the Novant Health Thunder Road Half Marathon and I’m mostly over the top excited but the butterflies are starting to creep in. Mainly for this reason.

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The low on Friday night is 25 degrees. It is going to be FREEZING at the 7:45 a.m. start. And y’all know how I feel about freezing. Besides that fact that I’m just not looking forward to being cold, I also haven’t acclimated to cold weather running yet this season. We’ve had a very mild fall and my coldest run has probably been high 40s/low 50s. I always feel like the first few hot or cold runs of the season never feel great so I’m concerned about how my body will perform physically with the temps being so low. I’m just hoping it motivates me to get to the finish line faster! 🙂

I also have a few butterflies because I was gangbusters on the training plan for the first 8-10 weeks and then lost steam. My last couple of weeks of training have been lackluster to say the least. Regardless, I feel 100% prepared and ready to run. I ran 10-11 miles 5-6 times, a lot of 7-8 milers and tempo/speed work. I have three goals and I’ll be more than happy if I meet any of them. First and foremost is to PR, second is to go sub 1:50 and third is to go sub 1:45 but it would need to be a perfect day of racing for that to happen. We shall see! 🙂


The last time I ran a half marathon was Thunder Road four years ago and set my current PR of 1:52. I can’t believe it’s been four years since I ran a half! It was also freezing on that race day too as you can tell by how I’m dressed.

Speaking of how I’m dressed…here is what I’m planning for my race day outfit.


From the top down…

  • A hat. I can’t decide whether I’ll wear a fleece beanie hat or a ball cap with an ear warmer. I’ll make a game time decision. I love running in hats with visors so I’ll probably go that route.
  • Lululemon Run Swiftly Long-Sleeve
  • Lululemon Flow Y Bra
  • Lululemon gloves
  • Lululemon tights. I got these a few weeks ago but they’re not available online anymore. They are amazing. The fabric is thick but breathable and snug in a cozy way. They’re cuffed around the ankles and have a high waistband that can be rolled down and big pockets on the sides.
  • I’m undecided on whether I’ll wear my Spi belt. I may just carry my phone in my hand for music and put a gel and car keys in my pants pocket.
  • Thorlo running socks
  • Mizuno Wave Elixirs

I need to add another layer up top. I don’t know what that will be…jacket or vest. And if you’re wondering about the shoes…while I loved the Brooks Ravenna at first, I started to have some issues with them after a few weeks. I’m going to try them out again after the half but for the race I’m going to keep it safe and wear my old shoes.


Still to do…

  • Decide if I’m going to wear this PBR shirt or not. Leaning towards not but considering it because it’s fun to make new friends and meet readers on the course.
  • Make a playlist. I LOVE making race playlists!
  • Buy some gels. I haven’t used any in training but I like to take a gel around mile 7-8 of half marathons for a little boost to the finish.
  • Buy hand warmers. I’m not even kidding about this. My hands freeze when I’m running even when it’s in the 50s so I’m planning on tucking hand warmers into my gloves to keep me extra toasty. I have terrible Raynaud’s and my fingers and toes go numb so easily.
  • Figure out race day logistics with parking. The race is Uptown and I need to make sure I know where I’m going to park to be optimally positioned between the start and finish.

So that’s where I’m at with the half marathon! I’m really, really, really excited about Saturday! 🙂

How do you prepare for races? Do you make playlists or lay out your clothes beforehand? 

{ 27 comments… add one }
  • meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles November 13, 2014, 4:00 pm

    I am all about the Run Swiftlys! My favorite tops…I think you will be fine in the cold because you will warm up 20 degrees and that’s the best racing temp!

  • Heather November 13, 2014, 4:26 pm

    Last year, I parked in the NASCAR parking garage and it was perfect.

  • Erica { EricaDHouse.com } November 13, 2014, 4:32 pm

    Definitely wear the shirt! I need to make up one like that. Can’t wait to hear about your new PR!

  • Leanne November 13, 2014, 4:35 pm

    Best of luck! Excited to hear how it goes!

  • Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine November 13, 2014, 4:58 pm

    You are going to rock it! I am wishing you ALL the luck and warmth! XOXO

  • Nicole @ Runs & WODs November 13, 2014, 5:17 pm

    Good luck!!! You’re going to do great!

  • Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run November 13, 2014, 5:18 pm

    You’re going to ROCK it!!

  • Courtney November 13, 2014, 5:49 pm

    I’m running Saturday as well! I’m freaking out about the weather because the last half I ran was in Phoenix! I’ve already decided that I’m not going for a PR in this race, so I’m hoping I can just enjoy it. Good luck!

  • jennyv November 13, 2014, 6:19 pm

    Based on your tempo and long run times over your training cycle I totally see a 1:45 for you! Think about this: you experience your perspective! Know that your body is ready for this race (weather cannot affect you!) Once you hit 10 miles it’s only a 5k — think of how many 5K races you’ve run and how fast you did them — or if it’s easier, think of the time you have left (“I can do anything for 20-25 min, etc.) More than anything, ENJOY the race. You put in all the work and you came through your training cycle feeling great. Excited to hear of how it goes for you!

  • Sarah November 13, 2014, 6:54 pm

    I think you’ve got a really good shot to go 1:45. Like you, my Pr was 1:52, and I just ran a new pr of 1:48 last weekend 🙂 my training long runs were a minute to a minute and a half slower than yours. Just make a plan and stick to it! You’ll do great, good luck!

  • She Rocks Fitness November 13, 2014, 7:12 pm

    GOOD LUCK and hope you warm up real fast and cannot wait to hear how it goes! XOXO

  • Kristi November 13, 2014, 7:22 pm

    I wish you all the best tomorrow!!!

  • Aurora@Fitness is Sweet November 13, 2014, 7:38 pm

    Good luck! You’re going to rock it!

  • Lisa November 13, 2014, 7:54 pm

    You are so ready for this race!

    I always set out at least 2 sets of clothes, and am obsessive when it comes to packing my post-race bag. Dry socks, warm dry clothes, food (no idea why, but always compelled to put a PB&J in my post-race bag), etc. I don’t usually run with music, in part because compiling a race day playlist seems so overwhelming!

    Also – totally unrelated – for some reason, I can only see your new posts if I click through from facebook or twitter. If I come to your blog, I only see the life lately post. I’m not sure it’s your blog, could easily be my computer – but thought I’d mention it. I’m on a mac and using firefox.

    Run well and stay warm on Sat. I promise to cheer for you if I see you!!!

  • Mo November 13, 2014, 7:54 pm

    Warm throw away clothes! I wore a bathrobe before NYC marathon. Not so fashionable, but toasty warm.

    • sharon November 13, 2014, 8:58 pm

      Right there with you about Saturday. Do you have Raynaud’s, too? My hands, and now my feet, are painfully cold all the time. Good luck.

  • Ally November 13, 2014, 9:16 pm

    So excited for you, Jen and can’t wait to hear about it! I love all the pre-race prep, I hope it’s fun for you. I definitely set everything out the night before and love to plan my post race food – the best!

  • Ashley November 13, 2014, 10:07 pm

    You go girl!

  • Danielle November 14, 2014, 12:45 am

    Best of luck! You’re going to have an outstanding race!

    I actually also have terrible trouble with cold hands during runs even when the temperatures are relatively mild! Wondering if you would mind recommending gloves if you’ve found some that work well for you? Thanks!

  • Mary Ann November 14, 2014, 6:58 am

    Oh I’ve got butterflies for you. Trust your training and you will do well. Good luck!

  • Kacy November 14, 2014, 7:35 am

    Good luck– And get those hand warmers! I buy those things in bulk in the winter. ❤️

  • Lucy November 14, 2014, 9:16 am

    Good luck, Jen! Running Thunder Road tomorrow as well. Hello record temps and rolling hills! Going for a PR myself (much slower than you) but will be happy just crossing the finish line with all the mishaps I’ve had leading up to this one. We got this!

  • whitney November 14, 2014, 9:33 am

    Good luck on your run!! Hope the chilly temps inspire a PR!:)

  • Melissa November 14, 2014, 9:36 am

    Good luck! You are going to do great! Your race attire looks great, a running vest would be a good add with the temps if you have one, or your PBR shirt over it your long sleeve.
    Parking somewhere off Tryon would probably work since the race start and finish has moved.

  • tara November 14, 2014, 12:48 pm

    i would be a sweaty mess in all that but i’m a sweater ! hand warmers are a great idea. i never thought of. i hate racing in gloves cuz my hands eventually warm up and gloves bother me but handwarmers woudl be good you can just throw out when done. i did my first half a few weeks ago with my boyfriend and i am soooo glad we took the fuel belt. i eventually get sick of caring my phone and i tucked a bunch of kleenex in one pouch cuz for me…when its cold and i run my nose runs sooo much. just a thought if you are like that you may need some kleenex. i dont like snotting all over and rubbing it on my shirt and if i sniff to much it makes my belly hurt after a while. i would wish you good luck but i dont think you need it !

  • Terri November 15, 2014, 1:20 pm

    Jen, I hope your race went well, I’m sure you got a PR.
    I have a question about your playlists, how could I go about get some playlists without paying a lot to itunes to download music? I’m not very good with my ipod and never have great music on it so if you have any suggestions I would love to hear it. Can’t wait until I can run again. Getting knee surgery in a month so hopefully by the spring!

  • Erin November 17, 2014, 5:22 am

    Love making playlists for running – I actually try to mix it up with some crazy upbeat music and then a little acoustic too. My mixes are always super random: Girl Talk, Van Morrison, and i’ll even throw a little old school rap or Motown in there. I also love to incorporate some of the songs that you’ve shared from your yoga playlists. Congrats on the run, Jen!!!

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