Every time I receive a wedding invitation, I find myself thinking the same thing as I slit open the envelope: “What race is this going to conflict with?”
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In the past, I’ve cancelled many races in favour of attending weddings, but this year, I figured I’d be able to have the best of both worlds. Keep in mind, this only works if it’s a morning race and a wedding scheduled for afternoon or evening. If you can make it happen, the sense of accomplishment is overwhelming. Like me, you will have a larger appetite for wedding cake. Just consider it a new take on the double-day workout.
This season, I managed to achieve racing on the same day as a wedding not once, but twice. Given that it’s wedding season right now, I thought I would use this experience to pull together a primer on how to successfully run a race and attend a wedding without falling asleep by the time dessert is served.
1. Plan! Leading up to the race, I thought through logistics. How long was it going to take me to get ready and drive to the event? I pre-planned my wedding outfit so it would be a stress-free transition.
2. Eat before the ceremony: I can’t stress this one enough. You are never guaranteed how long you will need to wait before the meal so eat up after running. My favourite trick this year was making use of my smoothie recipes – protein, carbs and hydration all in one.
3. Bring a comfortable pair of shoes for dancing: I often will wear heels for the ceremony and ditch them for a more comfortable pair of flats for the reception. If you race before a wedding, you have just asked a lot of your legs that morning. Dancing for hours in ridiculous footwear is just asking for injury.
4. Don’t leave things last minute: If you need to race, buy a gift, sign a card and still show up to the ceremony on time, it makes for a stressful day. Get your gift in advance and pack everything in to your car ahead of time.
5. Caffeine: If you’re pulling a race morning followed by a wedding later on, that’s a packed day. You are most likely dealing with an early morning and a late night with lots of moving in between. I often drink an extra cup of coffee so I can race my fastest in the morning and still shut down the dancefloor in the evening.
6. Hydrate: To balance out the previous point, make sure you bring an extra bottle of water or two with you, especially if you’re going to be having any alcoholic drinks. It is possible you are already dehydrated from the race and failing to consume water will only worsen this and slow down recovery.
7. Celebrate! How often do you get the chance to attend a party as big as a wedding after a race? The food tastes better, the energy is higher and there is nothing better than closing out a race with friends.