I love doing races in other areas.  It’s comforting to run along familiar streets but it’s exciting to see new places and navigate through places unknown to me.  Even places I’ve been to many times like Philadelphia and D.C. feel and look different when running through them.  One of the reasons I chose to participate in the Team In Training program was so that I could visit and run in someplace completely different.  I can’t wait to see San Diego for the first time, and then experience it on foot.

One thing about going somewhere out of town for a race is that if you are staying overnight it can be stressful.  Hotels have many different amenities, but your normal pre-race routine is inevitably going to be shaken up by something, whether it be the lack of a microwave to cook your oatmeal in or noisy neighbors in the hall at all hours.  Local restaurants are fun to try and cover the need to carbo-load, but there’s a nagging fear that stomach trouble could arise.  There’s also the stress of forgetting something at home – the mental checklist can sometimes overlook something you don’t realize will be missed until getting ready, or if you do think of it you’re too far to or can’t turn around and drive back for it.  I am a little bit nervous thinking about all this as I get closer to marathon day.

So, in advance I’m going to look up what all is at my hotel – if the guest rooms have a fridge and microwave and if the hotel has room service are at the top of the list.  I know that the night-before dinner will be a pasta dinner for TNT participants so I won’t need to worry about finding a restaurant.  I’m the person who always has Tums and Pepto so that will be along, and I ALWAYS overpack clothing and toiletries.  One thing I tend to forget and wind up buying at a drug store somewhere are toothbrushes.  We’re leaving early on a Friday morning so I’ll probably be packed and ready by Wednesday night.  Sneakers, race-day outfit, normal clothes, hairties, socks, so much to remember!

What other thoughts or suggestions, words of caution, anecdotes does anyone have about racing away from home?

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