Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Coast to Coast shadow box

While at the 2011 Disneyland Half Marathon expo, the Wife and I passed a booth that was selling shadow boxes for the Coast-to-Coast Challenge.  A shadow box is basically a picture frame that has depth to it, and allows you to put solid objects inside the picture frame.  I have seen this at other expo's before, but this one was a pretty cool way to display all of the medals from this challenge.  This is an image that I found on the internet of the actual shadow box that was at the expo:

I think this is actually for the 2008 Coast-to-Coast Challenge, as you can see on the medals.

I thought it was really neat looking, until I saw the $250 price tag associated with it.  At that point, I decided it wasn't that cool, and I basically forgot about it.  Well, today the Wife had a little homemade surprise for me:

My shadow box for the 2011 Coast-to-Coast Challenge!

That's pretty awesome, right!?  And the kicker?  It only cost about $25 (by using some coupons!).  That's definitely worth it!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

IMAZ Training - Week 35

Last week was a big week.  It contained two training milestones for this season.  First was the first century bike ride, which ended up at 106 miles.  Then, the very next morning, was an 18 mile run.  Both workouts were completed with The Captain, so it was a great week for the both of us.  This week won't have quite as long of a bike ride, only because I couldn't find time to sneak away for another century ride (otherwise it would totally be in there!), but it does contain another long run.  This time, it's 20 miles!  Anywho, here's the plan for week 35:

Monday - Swim 1:00.
Tuesday - Run :45.  Bike 1:00.
Wednesday - Bike 1:30.
Thursday - Bike 1:00 with BRICK Run 1:00.
Friday - Swim 1:00.  Run 20 miles.
Saturday - Bike 4:30.
Sunday - Swim 1:00.

That's it!
Today is the day.  Well, maybe.  Either today, tomorrow, or Wednesday at the latest.  The Boston Athletic Association has released a statement explaining that acceptance notifications for the 2012 Boston Marathon should all be out by September 28th (Wednesday).  They are starting on Monday and going through to Wednesday at the latest.  If I was a betting man, which I'm not because I'm horrible at it, I would assume that the longer one waits to hear, the better the chance is that this person is not being accepted.  So, I'm expecting to actually hear on Wednesday.

In this same statement that was released, the BAA said that roughly 21,000 people would be accepted, and just under 24,000 people applied.  Since I'm on the lower end of qualifying, I am assuming I'll be in that select group of two to three thousand people who get axed.  In the mean time, while I wait for my official rejection letter, there's only one song that comes to mind to listen to:

It's the final countdown!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Weekly Training Tip - Qualifying for Boston

Today's tip may not sound like a training tip at first, but it is.  And it's very simple.  In light of the new Boston Marathon registration process, which gives preference to those runners who finish fastest in their respective age/gender category, the qualifying standard is no longer going to be the same every year.  Sure, the "official" cutoff for my category (M18-34) is now 3:05 and does not allow a fifty-nine second grace period as previous years have.  The tricky part is not knowing how fast every other Boston Qualifier ran.

Look at my situation for this current year.  I finished a marathon in 3:10:25, which technically qualified me for the Boston Marathon using the :59 grace period (my standard was 3:10:00).  Since registration is no longer a first come/first served process and is done strictly on the amount of time that you beat your qualifying standard by, I'm at the bottom of the barrel.  Nobody knows for sure how fast you have to run in order to be able to get in, but it seems that everyone who ran five minutes faster than their standard is going to get in with no problems.  For me, that would mean that if I would have ran a 3:05:00, I would almost definitely get in.  This actually is the fairest way that the Boston Athletic Association could do registration (I think), as it actually does reward the faster runners, not just those with the fastest internet connection.

So in short, today's tip is this:  If you are looking to qualify for the Boston Marathon some day, there's two things to know.  First, make sure you check the BAA website for current qualification standards prior to your race day.  Second, if you want to be almost certain that you'll be able to register, you need to plan on beating your age/gender standard by at least five minutes.  And in fact, the more you beat your standard by, the better off you'll be!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Team Rev3 (formerly Team Trakkers) applications

Last year, at about the same time that I was applying for Team Marathon 2010, I was also looking into purchasing some sort of real-time GPS tracking device that would allow The Wife to track me during training.  It gets pretty hot here in Arizona, and a lot of my training occurs near busy roads, so sometimes she worries about me while I'm out (but sometimes I wonder how much.  I mean, she was pretty determined to get me a lovely insurance plan).  I had some trouble finding any devices that could achieve this, so I sent fitness technology guru Ray Maker an email asking for his advice.  He gave me a few options, include the Trakkers GPS device.

Photo found on swimbikerunlive.com
When I went to their website to look at their product, I found something peculiar.  They had a partnership with a company called Rev3.  I didn't know anything about either one of these two companies, so I did some fishing around.

First, the GPS device was a real-time broadcasting device that would allow people to follow along online, in real time!  Awesome!  Not only would that be sweet for training, but think about the uses during a race!  Well, apparently somebody else thought of this, because they made a partnership with Rev3.

Rev3, as I found out, was a pretty new triathlon company.  At the time, they only had 3 races (I think), and they were pretty far from my home (not really driving distance).  They said that they are a company who puts on "family friendly events" and really works to make race day an enjoyable experience for everyone.  Right on!  This intrigued me a bit, so I started looking up videos on YouTube, and they definitely do look like fun events, for the whole family.  For example, they have a kids race on race weekend called "Little REV"!  Needless to say, I was impressed with this company, and I had only seen videos and pictures.  Unfortunately, they were very far away.

Back on the TrakkersGPS page, I noticed that they had a sponsored team on Pro athletes, and another section for age group athletes.  Really?  That's pretty awesome.  I clicked on it to check out the athletes and what I saw immediately caught my eye...
"Join Team Trakkers in 2011!  Click here for the online application"
Of course, I had to throw my name in the hat for this one.  It seemed like such a great opportunity, and the two companies, from what I head seen and read online, really seemed like stand-up companies.  Well, to make a short story longer, I didn't make the cut last year.  But this is a new year, and following the companies you like on Facebook can keep you in the know.
Oh heck yeah!  That was the announcement taken from the Team Trakkers Facebook page.  So, I think I'm going to give it lucky try number two.  I still feel like these guys put on great races (from what I can see in posted videos and other athlete's comments).  And, what's even better is they have added a few races since I last applied, and there's a couple that are driving distance (a long, long drive).

Let me end by saying I have absolutely nothing to do with Rev3 or Trakkers (yet hopefully!), they just come across as good, quality companies.  If you think you would enjoy high quality, family oriented race weekends as well, maybe you should apply for this team too!

And not to keep dragging this on, but I'll leave you with two videos.  First is a video of one of the kids adventure races that is put on during race weekend at the Rev3 events.  Don't even try to tell me that it doesn't look like fun (even for adults!):

Lastly is this video featuring 2-time Ironman World Champion Craig Alexander.  Craig is not a Rev3/Trakkers sponsored athlete, but he obviously was pretty impressed with the race he just completed:

Monday, September 19, 2011

IMAZ Training - Week 34

Sorry about my tardiness with this one.  My life has been consumed by this whole Boston Marathon registration process, even though it doesn't really matter because it seems the cutoff will be a bit faster than my qualifying time.  Anywho, here's what week 34 is looking like at this moment in time:

Monday - Bike 1:00.
Tuesday - Swim 1:20.  Run 1:00.
Wednesday - Bike 1:00 easy.
Thursday - Bike 6:00.
Friday - Run 3:00.
Saturday - Bike 1:00
Sunday - Run 1:30.  Swim 1:00.

Boston registration took over my life!

Starting last week, the registration process for the 2012 Boston Marathon was open.  This year, instead of the first come/first served approach that seemed to not work out so well in the past, the Boston Athletic Association devised a new strategy.  Everything was going to be based off of how much a person beat their given Boston Qualifying time by (now being referred to as BBQ-XX...beaten Boston qualifying by XX time).  For me, since my required time was 3:10, and the BAA allows a 59 second grace period, my designation is actually BQ+:25, being that my time was 3:10:25.

Nobody was really sure how this new registration process would play out, and if it was going to be fair.  I say it's not, only because I may have had a chance to actually get accepted had it still been a first come/first served method.  Realistically, however, this process does seem to be much better.  The only real downside is that those of us who are near the end of the list really don't know if our time was good enough.  This is where the forums come in to play...

All throughout last week, and now into this week, there has been a few forums that have attempted to track submission numbers (submission number meaning that you applied to be accepted into the race, not actually accepted and registered).  The main one that I have been following was on Runner's World.  It seems like they've done a pretty good job at gathering numbers and making graphs/predictions on how many people will register.  And it's because of these nice people that I really haven't gotten my hopes up, at all.

Some people thought that registration would fill up during the first week, and in order to be able to actually register for the 2012 race, you would have needed to beat your BQ by 5:00 or more.  Surprisingly, we made it through week one with some spots to spare.  There were approximately 15,500 people that submitted to be accepted during the first week.  Assuming all of these people are accepted, that leaves anywhere between 3,000 to 8,000 slots for the rest of us slow pokes.  Nobody knows how many slots will be available, because the BAA hasn't made that public.  Last year, there was about 19,000 qualified runners and 5,000 or so charity runners.  The ball is really in the BAA's court to either let in more qualified runners, or keep more spots for the charity runners.  Only time will tell.

For me, I absolutely filled out that submission form first thing Monday morning, as did a ton of other people.  As of this writing, which is about 3:30 pm Arizona time, the total number of submitting applicants is around 22,000.  Needless to say, I'm pretty sure the BAA won't all 3,000 more qualified runners than last year.  That would be a huge increase, and there's not really any extra room on the narrow streets of Boston.  

But, for now I can only watch the forums and play the waiting game.  The general assumption is that just about everyone will have registered by the end of today (Monday), so the numbers should change a ton by the end of the week.  So there may be a small chance, but I'd say it's about a 1% chance that I get in, based on the numbers that people are throwing out there.  It would be interesting to find out how many people do get turned away, and maybe I would be part of a small select group! (just not really the group I was hoping...)  Only time will tell!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mount Lemmon Half Marathon is a go!

After a few months of silence from Muscle Milk, they have finally broken the silence and contacted us "Muscle Milk Machine" runners who will be participating in the Mount Lemmon marathon/half marathon.  In the email, it was explained that they have had some staffing changes and we actually have someone who is normally working in California now working out here to take care of this race.  Pretty cool, I suppose.  So it looks like I should maybe start doing some long, boring hill work in preparation for running uphill for 13 miles!  YIKES!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

2012 Boston Marathon registration

On Monday, the registration process for the 2012 Boston Marathon began.  It's a little different this year than it has been in the past.  This year, there are up to two weeks of registration, with the faster runners getting first dibs.  I came across another guy's blog that really sums it up perfectly...

Taken from "ithoughttheysaidrum.blogspot.com"

If you can't see the picture (if you get my blog by email) then you'll have to go to my actual site to see it.  It's pretty good.

As you may remember, I qualified for the 2012 Boston Marathon at the 2011 Disney World Marathon with a time of 3:10:25.  Seems like a decent marathon time (at least for me!), but it only qualified me by :35.  That's not so good.  According to the new registration procedure, I am in the "barely qualified" category, which is just above those who did not qualify.  The chances of me not only getting to register, but then getting selected are pretty slim to none.

So for now I play the waiting game.  All I can do is check back periodically to see if registration has reached capacity.  And if, for some ridiculous reason, registration is still available on Monday, September 19th, then you better believe I'll be sending in my application the very minute that I am allowed to!

As a side note, I took a little look at the already-registered 2012 Boston Marathon athletes.  These are the athletes that have qualified by "20 minutes or more" under their age/gender specific qualifying time.  I couldn't help but notice that the majority of people that were able to register are "older" athletes.  I am not saying they are old, I'm just saying they are mostly over the age of 40.  I just found that to be interesting...

Monday, September 12, 2011

Congrats to Mike "Pappy" Plowman!

This past weekend, on 9/11/11 to be exact, was not only the tenth anniversary of the attack on the twin towers, it was also the Ironman 70.3 World Championship.  The Wife's uncle had earned himself an age group slot a little while back, and was fortunate enough to be racing in this race.  Well, he completed the race successfully and is now an Ironman 70.3 World Championship finisher!  So a big congrats to Mike "Pappy" Plowman for his achievement!

IMAZ Training - Week 33

Short and sweet...here's week 33's schedule:

Monday - Bike 1:15.
Tuesday - Run :45.  Bike 1:00.
Wednesday - Bike 4:00.  Swim 1:00.
Thursday - Bike 1:00 plus BRICK Run 1:00.
Friday - Bike 1:00.
Saturday - Swim 1:00.
Sunday - Bike 1:00.  Run 1:45.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Weekly Training Tip - A simple way to spot your spectators

If you've ever participated in a large endurance event, whether it be a half marathon, marathon, or Ironman, you know that there are a lot of spectators.  And when you're a participant, you're not always concerned with looking for your loved ones that are out there cheering you on, since you're typically focused on getting through the race.  Usually, though, it does provide a pick me up when you do happen to see your support crew.

There are a few different things you can do to make finding your supporters a little bit easier, and really make your support crew's day a lot better too.  First, you can agree on a location that they are going to be at prior to the race starting.  Then, once you get to that area, you know to keep your eyes open for them.  What we've done for the last few races, and actually works really well, is The Wife gets a balloon the day before the race.  This way, when I'm out on the course, even if I'm not exactly paying attention, a balloon almost always catches my eye!  It makes it very easy to spot my family and get that little burst of energy!

Sometimes us athletes need a little reminder that the race isn't only about us, it's about the spectators as well!  I actually think that the athletes have the easier job of the day.  Our job is cut and dry.  The spectators have the harder job of standing around and playing "Where's Waldo?" all day long.  There's no way I could do that!  So during your next race, make sure you at least give your supporters a big smile and wave and really thank them for giving up their day to support you!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

2011 Disneyland Half Marathon Race Recap

Last year, when I ran the 2010 Disneyland Half Marathon, I surprised myself.  I was coming back from a pair of tibial stress fractures that I suffered around February of 2010, and I was being very cautious with my running.  What I did, thinking that it was less stressful on my legs, was do all of my training indoors, on a treadmill.  I had just finished reading the book "Run Less Run Faster" and had decided to jump into one of the training programs half way through.  In the end, I blew my previous half marathon PR out of the water and finished in 1:34:04.

This year, my plan was a little different.  I have Ironman Arizona coming up this November, so I wasn't really training specifically for this race.  Not only did I not do a proper taper, but I did a little experiment and participated in my first mountain bike race one week prior to the 2011 Disneyland half marathon.  I am not sure what it is, but apparently there's something magical about this race (pardon the lame Disney joke...).

Saturday I pretty much spent the day relaxing and hanging out in the hotel room.  We woke up a little early and took my daughter to a character breakfast at the Paradise Pier hotel, which is always a good time if your kids aren't scared of the characters.  Being the moron that I am, I wanted to make sure to get my money's worth, so I ate a few too many Mickey waffles than I should have.  After the breakfast we went back to our room to deeply ponder why we had eaten so much food, and waited for our room at the Grand Californian hotel to be ready.  Once we headed over to the Grand Californian, The Wife was enjoying the glorious lobby and my daughter was enjoying the Disney music being played by the very talented pianist, so The Parents and I headed back over to the expo to take another look around (we had already hit the expo on Friday night for a short amount of time).

Dinner came early (at about 5:00 p.m.) with the customary pre-race pasta and bread.  The race was slated to begin at 6:00 a.m., so The Parents and I (The Parents were racing as well) were hoping to be in bed by around 7:30 p.m. or so.  

A quick side note:  my daughter caught a pretty nasty cold on Friday, so the rest of us were almost positive we would be sick by the time the race rolled around.  I actually slept in the living room of our hotel room to try and avoid getting sick!

I awoke at 3:15 a.m. to my alarm clock and my madrĂ© had already brewed up a fresh pot of coffee.  I poured myself a cup, and started in with my morning nutrition.  I have learned that an almost perfect pre-race meal for me (for half marathons or marathons) is one cup of coffee, one bagel, one Marathon Bar, and then slowly sipping some water until race time.  Once everyone had enjoyed their breakfast and was as ready to go as we'd ever be, it was time for the pre-race picture and then the walk to the start line.

The Parents and me just before we headed to the starting line

I arrived in my corral at about 5:25 a.m., which was probably the earliest I've ever been in my starting corral.  Last year when I ran this race, I learned how awesome it was to start near the front because I wasn't running with a huge crowd, I was with a small group of people.  So I was attempting to do the same this year.  While I was waiting for the race to start, a fellow Team Marathon member came up and said hello.  We talked for a few minutes and she headed back to race with her husband (she ended up winning her age group!).  At 5:45 a.m. I ate 3 Cliff Shot Blocks and took a sip of water and got ready to go.

When the race started, I took off a little faster than I anticipated.  In fact, my goal was to be somewhere around 7:10/mile, and my fist mile was under 7:00.  My second mile was in 6:32!  It was crazy, but I was feeling pretty good.  At about mile 4, I passed a guy who ended up catching back up to me and we began to chat.  He said he was just coming off of running the Hood to Coast race so he was a bit tired and wasn't expecting much, just somewhere around 1:30...are you kidding me?  That's not expecting much?!  We ended up running with each other until mile 8 or so when I drifted back about 20 feet.  I worked at keeping up with him for the rest of the race and finally had to let him go during the last mile of the race.  He ended up finishing 40 seconds ahead of me.

There was also another Team Marathon teammate that was always about a football field's length ahead of me.  I was trying to slowly catch up, but I couldn't do it.  I found her at the end of the race and congratulated her...she got third in her age group and ninth female overall!

Go Team Marathon!

The Wife (who is very multi-tasking talented by the way) was not only watching our daughter by herself during this race, but she was working the camera and the video camera!  Crazy!

Running to the finish line!

The Parents were also successful in their race day achievements as well!

Nice job Parents!

Doing this race as well was The Captain and his wife!  It was a big party!

The Captain in his new Team Wheaties Fuel apparel

Myself, the Captains wife, and The Captain

Everyone had a successful day!  Even my daughter accomplished something.  While The Wife and my daughter were waiting for us to finish, my daughter took a stab at whistling...

Ok, so maybe she didn't really whistle.

When I finished the race, I knew that I had set a new PR.  When I crossed the finish line, the clock time was 1:29:56, which is 4:08 faster than my previous PR.  On top of that, my chip time would be less than that (:19 less to be exact)!  I began thinking that maybe, just maybe, I had done well enough to place in my age group since the awards go 5 people deep for this race.  I made a few phone calls and ended up finding out that I was very close.  In fact, I was 7th in my age group.  But wait!  Check out what the RunDisney website says about awards:

"Please note that a runner will not receive two awards for the same race result."
So, if anyone in my age group that placed ahead of me finished in the top 3 overall (unlike age group awards which go 5 people deep, the overall awards only go 3 people deep), then I could move up a slot.  A quick search by my mother-in-law found that not only did the top finisher in my age group finish number one overall, but the second place finisher in my age group was also second place overall!  That meant that #1 and #2 no longer counted in my age group, shifting everyone, including myself, up two slots.  And that now meant that I finished in 5th place in my age group...which is an age group award!  Holy crap!

I had never really looked at the "awards" section on the race website, because I never really considered that it would apply to me.  So I hung around the awards ceremony to see if they handed out the awards, not knowing that it clearly states on the website that all age group awards will be mailed out in 4-6 weeks.

I'm very surprised that I was able to average 6:50/mile for this race as I really hadn't done much running outside lately (it's been so freakin' hot in Arizona!) and I didn't really prep specifically for this race.  Hopefully this is a good sign that my training is taking me somewhere in the right direction of finishing Ironman Arizona in twelve hours!

After the race, holding up our "Coast to Coast" medals

*Updated on 11/9/11* Apparently it takes a long, long time for the results to become official, and a little over 3 months later they are now official.  Unfortunately, I was bumped down one position to 6th in my AG, meaning I will not be receiving any award.  Oh well!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Muscle Milk is confused...

A while back, I signed up for a pretty sweet deal through Facebook.  Muscle Milk - Arizona posted on their page that the first 80 people to send in their information would get to race the Mount Lemmon marathon/half marathon for free.  And on top of that, Muscle Milk was going to provide a hotel room and dinner the night before the race, and some apparel to race/train in.  Well, I did get registered for the race, and received the training shirt (that everyone who registered for the race received, not just us "Muscle Milk" people).  What I, or anyone else that got in on this deal, hasn't heard, is anything else relating to this race.

Our original contact for this race went by "Yo".  Her name was Yolanda.  She did a good job at keeping us informed and letting us know when there was a group training run or some other event happening.  She also was heading up a monthly training email to keep everyone on track.  Well, we received one email, about 2 months ago, and haven't heard a word since.  Numerous people have tried to contact Muscle Milk, and nobody has been successful.  A bunch of us have also posted on Muscle Milk Arizona's Facebook page, hoping to get a response, which has just been ignored.

Unfortunately, this puts a lot of us in a tough spot.  I do know that we are registered for the race, but we have no idea of we are needing to take care of our own logistics.  It would be nice if Muscle Milk would at least acknowledge the questions that people are asking, or just send out a quick email to let us know whether or not all of the things that they promised are still happening.  

So for now, this race is probably going to be taken off of my schedule, and if I end up racing it, I will be doing it solely as a tough training day.  Oh well!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

IMAZ Training - Week 32

By now (depending on when you're reading this) I've finished the Disneyland Half Marathon!  I'll be posting a race recap in a few days...

For this week, which is now week 32, I have nothing left to focus on except for Ironman Arizona.  Technically, I am registered to do the Mount Lemmon Half Marathon, but that race is sort of up in the air (a lot of confusion on Muscle Milks part...I'll explain in tomorrows post).  So for now, I'm just going to not worry about that half marathon and if I end up racing it, it will be 100% a training run.  As for week 32, here's what I have planned:

Monday - Rest (I think I earned a day of rest, since I just raced yesterday!)
Tuesday - Run :45.
Wednesday - Rest (travel day, unfortunately)
Thursday - Bike 2:30 with BRICK Run 1:00.
Friday - Bike 1:15.
Saturday - Bike 1:30.  Swim 1:00.
Sunday - Run 2:30.

Week 33 is going to be another big week, so this week is just getting ready for next week.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Since tomorrow is race day, I thought I'd post a little video from last years Disneyland half marathon to get myself (and anyone else who might be racing) excited for the big day tomorrow!

Thanks for reading!

Oh, and today is my older brothers birthday.  So, happy birthday Danny!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Weekly Training Tip - Pre race jitters

I don't think it matters how often you race, or whether you're racing for fun or trying to place.  I believe that everyone has some sort of pre-race anxiety or jitters.  I know that I still get nervous, regardless of what my goal for the race is.  Many people have different rituals that they follow or good luck charms that they carry with them.  I don't necessarily have any of that, but I do have a pretty basic routine that I follow.

During the day before most of my races, I try to get a light workout in.  If I'm doing just a running event, then I'll get a very short run in, maybe a couple of miles.  If I'm doing a triathlon, my light workouts have been going on for a few days.  Basically, the day before a race I try to relax and stay as low-stress as possible.  I try to eat meals that are on the lighter side (not necessarily smaller portions than normal, just not heavy meals).  For dinner, I almost always have some sort of pasta and sauce, and I've learned the hard way to eat a smaller portion than I normally would for dinner.  I try and have dinner a little earlier than normal, and head off to bed with plenty of time to sleep.

Sleeping is a tough issue because it's almost near impossible to actually get a good nights sleep.  Some people take NyQuil to help them sleep, other people will take other over-the-counter medications to aid in sleeping.  I've tried the NyQuil approach, and I was way too groggy in the morning.  Now, I just go to bed extra early, knowing that it's going to take me a long time to fall asleep.  I like to wake up about three hours prior to the race (depending on the race obviously.  Triathlons may require a little more time before the race).  When I wake up, I have some sort of small breakfast...maybe a bagel and a banana, or maybe an Ensure (like an instant breakfast shake).  I also get the coffee brewing and have a decent sized cup of coffee right when I wake up.  Once all of that is done, I slowly sip on a small bottle of electrolyte drink.  This is key, because you have to make sure you don't drink too much, otherwise you will be needing to visit the port-o-let quite often.

After all of this is done, it's time to head on down to the race and enjoy the day!  Some other things that you can do to help settle the nerves is listen to some music, do some light stretching (and I do mean light!  You don't want to pull a muscle before your race starts!!!!), or maybe even just head down to the race start to get excited for the race!

Whatever you do, it takes a little trial and error.  Once you find something that works, try to replicate that each time you race, because it will help keep you calm and relaxed.