This is it!

By Alethea Mshar

Here we are on the eve of the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon and 5k.  We have put in the training, and are ready to step up to the starting line and give the race our best. Thousands of women will dominate the streets of Grand Rapids, and what a beautiful sight all of us ladies will be!

Ladies, I am so proud of us.  We used our strength and discipline to train hard, and made it to race day.  We put in mile after mile, and prepared our bodies and minds for the task ahead of us.  I am so honored to take the streets with you.   

If this is your first 5k or half marathon, congratulations. Make sure to hydrate ahead of the race, drink extra water for the few days ahead of race day, and along with that, make sure you use the bathrooms before you start. Take the chance to indulge in some carbs this week, pasta not only gives you the carbs that fill your glycemic tank, it’s also unlikely to backfire on you causing indigestion or diarrhea, so pasta is always a good bet. The rule of thumb is to avoid wearing anything on race day that you haven’t tested in a training run, nobody wants to have chaffing as a badge of honor from the race.  Cotton is rotten!  You’re sure to ruin your day if you don cotton, so leave your cotton socks in the drawer and throw on synthetic or wool. When the race starts you’ll be full of adrenaline. Don’t let it fool you. Start out easy, and if you’re having a good run try picking up the pace after the first mile or two. Don’t be afraid to stick with pacers, they will provide encouragement and keep you on track to finish at your goal time.  And speaking of that, you’ve got this!  You’ve done the work now reap the rewards!  This all female race is a phenomenal experience, drink in the experience and enjoy!

For you veterans, just relax into the day. You’re the backbone of West Michigan running. You inspire your friends and neighbors with your dedication year in and year out. Don’t do anything stupid, and you’ll get another charm to add to your collection. Delight in the experience of this race, of this moment. It’s yours to savor.

I’ll see you out there ladies!  I can’t wait!


About Alethea:
I’m Lee. I am a determined and resilient woman. I adore my husband and children, two of whom have a mix of special needs. I delight in gardening and fitness, especially running. I work for Ottawa County Parks and Recreation as a Naturalist Guide, and I fancy myself a writer.

One thought on “This is it!

  1. Julie K says:

    It was my first half-marathon and I LOVED all the girl power behind it! I felt supported the entire way through and even when I felt like giving up, had both my running partner and gazelle family cheering me on. THAT’S how a race should be. Thank you for allowing me to take part in such an empowering experience!

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