The Hay is in the Barn!


DIS Veteran
Mar 3, 2000
‘They hay is in the barn!’

Coach Lackey used to yell that as we finished up practice before the big game. It was a groaner to a teen as we really did not understand the meaning of the phrase. It’s a simple way of saying trust all the work you have put in this fall and let the race come to you. You may not feel well trained or are suffering through injury or illness or worse; both. Relax.

Think back as you pack and think of how hard it was to run 2 miles last July and now how short a 10 mile run feels. Think of all the trials you went through and how you developed the tool set to pull a run out and finish it rather than throw the towel in and head home. There is an inner peace that you have now that will help carry you through the race(s) this weekend.

If you are in the lack of training or injured camp, trust that the miles put in will help get you to the finish line. I know some have run little since Thanksgiving and yes, you too are able to finish. Keep a positive outlook as you start and it will help carry you to the line.

It is very normal to be a little nervous today; especially if this is your first event. It may be difficult to work as you loop through the what more could I have done list, over and over and over. Note that even those with 20+ marathons have some of the same nerves. The causes may differ just a bit, but the nerves may be just the same. Take a deep breath and relax as you work through this short work week.

Hydrate starting today. You may be snowbound and think that is silly but if you amp up the daily intake by just one glass or two every day this week your body will thank you. Make sure to buy a bottle of water for the plane. Air plane will suck the hydration down.

Make sure you have everything on your check list. I have seen a couple versions floating around, make sure they fit what you have trained with this fall. Carry your race shoes and clothing in a carry on. It does not happen often, but you really do not want your running shoes in Hawaii while you are in Orlando.

Make sure you do not amp up eating once you arrive. Disney has really amped up portion sizes and buffets are just bad news if you fail on self control. You want to maintain a nice balanced and well portioned diet from now until race morning. You simply do not need to gorge on a ton of pasta, a simple and light pasta meal should be more of a celebration of race eve than a thanksgiving meal wannabe.

The weather looks warm and worse humid, I urge a cautious pace on race morning. You know what your training pace has been; start with that or maybe 30-60 seconds slower. Dew point (or wet bulb) temperatures are the statistic to look for. When they are above 60F, caution is needed.

Race morning can be an all nerves on deck period. Take a few deep breaths and make sure you do not walk out the door missing something important – like your bottoms. Ok Bib. I find that I allay most nerves by laying out my clothing in a stack; especially in a hotel type room. The first thing or bottom of the stack are my shoes then socks, HR monitor, Shirt, Bottoms…. That way you are pulling the first item needed from the top of the stack, then the next and so on.

OK gut check time. I know there are a few folks who are worried about the balloon ladies, sweepers, or just failing. I cannot emphasize enough that you especially need to trust you training. Come on and start with us. It is a great experience to be at the race and in the start. The forward momentum of the morning can create a newer level of energy that may well carry you 5-6 extra miles beyond expectation. Keep one very simple thought as you move through the race …………… The Relentless Pursuit of FORWARD Momentum. It’s that simple. Rather than worry once you pass Start, focus all thought, effort and action to the simple goal of the Relentless Pursuit of FORWARD Momentum. Keep you stride light. Head up. Shoulders back and arms freely swinging with a RELAXED grip. Smile, yes SMILE and take a deep and cleansing breath every so often…. Make the Relentless Pursuit of FORWARD Momentum your race day mission. Track your personal time from the start line. Make a pace list if you need so that you can check your personal time at every mile point i.e. :16; :32; :48…. If you are not building a buffer on those splits stay focused on your race day mission; the Relentless Pursuit of FORWARD Momentum. That may mean skipping a photo op, pushing through and avoiding a potty break, or simply knuckling down.

I know that there will be a few who try and try with all their might yet find themselves in a bus seat. It’s ok. Understand that you are part of the 1% of the world’s population who will start a marathon event this year. Hold you head high and enjoy the fact that you are not sitting on a couch or you are not the grumpy guest miffed at the runners who are keeping him from easily walking to a ride. You are one of the few who decided to be healthier and fitter last year and this is YOUR celebration and party. Enjoy the race while you are in it and know that even in an apparent failure, you are still a winner. You have moved off the couch. Take lessons learned and apply them to your next race.

Everyone, have safe travels and enjoy the race.

One final thought….
I wish I could say something classy and inspirational, but that just wouldn't be our style. Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory... lasts forever. – Shane Falco

Get out there and make it a great run!


DIS Veteran
May 27, 2004
You are an incredible man. Inspirational and I simply cannot thank you enough for your posts and advise. First marathon for hubs and I and your post sums everything up that we are feeling. I type this from the couch with a chest cold Urgh but I'll be there Sunday morning remembering those words. Thank you Coach.
  • kmorganj

    Earning My Ears
    Mar 22, 2011
    Thanks, Coach. I look forward to this post every year. I'm not even running this week (saving the money and miles for Princess this year) but I remember it from years past as I prepared for numerous marathons, Goofy, and the once-in-a-lifetime marathon relay. When you "disappeared" last week, I wondered "But who will tell everyone 'the hay is in the barn?'"

    I'll bookmark this one for February...

    Good luck everyone, have fun!


    DIS Veteran
    Nov 12, 2004
    I always enjoy and look forward to your pep talks, Coach. Thanks for all your wisdom, we'll see you out there on the course.
  • J3nn78

    DIS Veteran
    Jul 20, 2008
    Thank you! That was just what I needed to hear. I have been waiting for this post!


    DIS Veteran
    Sep 18, 2010
    Great post! Thank you for the words of encouragement.

    I just told my husband "the hay is in the barn" when we were having an unpleasant treadmill run yesterday. When he looked at me like I was nuts, I said, "It's something Coach says on the Dis." :)


    Oct 13, 2013
    Nice coaching, Coach. Makes me wish I was running this weekend. Soooo, instead I'll reread next week. Especially the haven't-run-in-a-couple-months part. :)


    DIS Veteran
    Aug 5, 2012
    Amen to that.

    Is it really 1% of the worlds population will START a marathon? Wow...we are on a road that so few in the WORLD have cool is that?

    I am feeling both nervous and excited.

    Be safe and injury free!

    I am going to buy a bottle of water for the plane...

    Cannot forget my music...cell phone...I am ready for this...


    DIS Veteran
    Jan 18, 2010
    just wanted to say "Good Luck" to everyone that is running this weekend! I can't wait to read about your races!


    queen bee
    Sep 23, 2013
    Coach, I can't thank you enough for your unbelievable support. The time and effort you've put into coaching us all has been invaluable.