No matter the distance of the event, I am always nervous before my races and it was no different for the Comox Valley Half Marathon. To help calm my nerves, I reflect on all the time and training I have invested in preparing for an event. I find this gives me the confidence that I can learn from each and every event as part of my ongoing commitment to performing at my best. I go into every race with a plan and, in my own eyes, I believe I am usually good at executing that plan. Summarizing and breaking down what went into the Comox Valley Half Marathon will help me prepared for my next race. So here goes, a look at the before, during and after of the Comox Valley Half Marathon: Before the race In the days leading up to the race, I don’t change much, but here are a few things I find always work for me: When it comes to supplementation, two to three days prior to the event, I double up my doses of Purica Cordyceps and Recovery Extra Strength; Two days out, or the day before the race, I do a workout that includes 10 minutes of running just below or right at my goal race pace; The day before the race my biggest meal is breakfast and it consists mostly of lower glycemic index carbohydrates such as steel cut oats; I taper my food intake over the remainder of the day and favour sweet potatoes, yams and whole grain rice varieties; Hydration is important but there is no need to go crazy. Race day It’s common for people to neglect a proper warm up before a race. My warm up was almost 25 minutes prior to the Comox event and it included some strides in the last 10 minutes. I usually run until I “feel” warmed up. Once the gun went off, I kept my effort in check by monitoring my GPS watch. Focus is a critical component of performing well at any race, but this can be difficult. I always remind myself that it is such a short period of time in relation to the rest of the day or my life (in other words, pain is temporary!). Post race After the race, I was in a good frame of mind as I achieved one of my primary goals — winning the race! I did not achieve my other goal, which was running under 1:12:00, but I have learned to not get hung up on what is already done. I gave my best effort on the day and that was the most important part. I’ll assess that goal of 72 minutes at a future event, I’m sure. Similar to my supplementation before the event, I keep my doses of Recovery Extra Strength high and I transition to Immune 7 as my mushroom product to help my now suppressed immune system from catching something. Not forgetting to treat yourself is an important part of the post-race ritual. The post-race food was great and so was the cold beer later that day at dinner time! Lastly, it’s always important to remember that performance is relative and every person at the event is doing the same thing; pushing their body and mind in an effort to achieve a goal. Good luck at your next event!