How to Survive your First Marathon!
by, 08-16-2015 at 01:34 PM (1002 Views)
(this post is somewhat tongue in cheek, with some serious points. Also, much of this will be more applicable to weeklongs rather than the weekends, although some points will carry over.)
You're not ready for Texas, especially if it's summer. I don't care where in the world you're coming from, you're not ready for Texas. Dress appropriately. Don't be like some woman who forgot to pack her shorts and walked around in jeans for the first few days. Cars turn into ovens and the shady spots to park are a premium. Avoid metal at all costs when getting into one. That said, the AC at the barn can get fierce, so if you are there for a long time, bring a hoodie. Better to have on hand then not to have and want.
You will probably be tempted to get those huge cream-topped ice creamy calorific chocolate shakes of death. Not what you need. You certainly can get those, and some are amazing. (need to try every flavour at Stake and Shake) but make sure you get some water on the side. I'll say that, for every meal, even if you get coke or something, and especially if you're having alcohol, also get water. And take advantage of those free refills if you're not used to it. Water will be provided at the barn in the form of bottles, but if you take one, make sure you label it. It's very easy to misplace your bottle, but with your name on it it will get back to you.
The barn has a small kitchen area where you can store leftovers. Box up restaurant food you can't eat (seriously, those portions are huge) and save it for later. Label this, too. If people are going out to get food, you can normally either tag along or ask them to bring you something back. Reminder, though, most food there is rather unhealthy. If you want some salad or fruit, buy it from walmart or somewhere and keep it at the barn for you. Might sound boring, but when it's a choice between your fifth burger, or an apple or orange, well it's nice to have the option.
There is no shame in going back to your hotel room for a few hours, or trying to catch a few winks at the barn. Especially if you have a late shift. You're not going to be playing at your best, or able to keep up the energy in commentary, if you're tired. You won't want to go to sleep, but it happens to all of us eventually. Most times I slept at the barn, I didn't mean to, just was chillaxing back in the chairs and closed my eyes for a second. Basically, if you have the chance to get back to your hotel, take it.
You probably will know a good many people from the streams. However, meeting in real life for the first time can feel as awkward as any first meeting, especially if you happen to be on the shyer side of things. Bring some snacks for the barn to share, which will provide a conversation opener, especially if your snacks are different from the ones that the majority of people at the barn would have access to. Bich brought us all a fantastic personalised mug she did herself! If you have any arty-crafty talent like that, consider doing something like that. If people are setting up a tabletop game, ask if you can join! The worst that can happen is an apologetic no, and they'll register your interest for next time. But in general, just a simple "Hi, I'm Username" will suffice, and you'll probably get back a lot of "Hi Username, it's nice to meet in person!"
Label your chargers unless yours is sufficiently different enough that no-one could mistake it anyway.
If you have any pills you need to take on a certain schedule, take them with you to the barn and set a reminder on your phone. Don't rely on being back at your hotel in time. You will most likely forget when you get back and fall right asleep. It will probably slip your mind at the barn, too, with so much happening, so set your reminder.
Make sure you have a good data plan, since the barns wifi is inadvised to use with so much also using internet. If you can't use data because you don't want your soul to be indebted to your phone provider when you get back to your country, make friends with someone who does. This way, you can get the chat up and interact with people there.
Write a list. Double check it. Check you've packed it. There would be nothing worse then getting to the airport and finding you're missing that important document you need to fly, or the rare game you promised you'd bring.