I dedicate every race to someone who is experiencing physical or emotional distress. When I have sinking spells, I think about them and realize my pain will be over when I cross the finish line. I bring back a memento to each person.
Water first—before, during, and after the race! Energy drinks are great pick-me-ups during a race and essential for recovery.
I get an extra surge of energy hearing the Eye of the Tiger. It was a hit in 1982 when I did my first marathon. Plus, the lyrics from Flashdance, "Take your passion, make it happen," give me goose bumps every time I hum it.