Well, since I’ve been such a great blogger as of late, I thought I’d let you guys in on my raging anxiety. Isn’t that convenient? I only come back when I need something.
Anyway, my awesome running team is heading up en masse to Philadelphia this weekend for the Philadelphia Distance Run (which will always be the race’s name in my heart and on the Lizard Runs style guide. Yes, I have one). Everyone is pretty much going to kick some ass.
But I am a basket case.
I don’t usually get nervous before races, but I don’t usually have too much at stake. And, frankly, I don’t have a damn thing at stake on Sunday either. But this is the first race I’ve run in almost 2 years that I’ve had any chance of PRing, and I’m worried about failing.
I emailed Coach George for some advice, and he did a great job of talking me down. He told me to run with my friends, to take the first 5 miles at or just above 8-minute miles, and then to start racing. While I’m pretty confident that my leg won’t start swelling , I am scared of showing up on Sunday and just not having it in me. I had a great track workout on Tuesday morning–despite some lingering 20-miler fatigue, I ran a 6:45 mile that felt challenging but manageable, as a track workout should feel, and followed with a 3:13 800, which is also a time I didn’t used to run.
But my 5k in Portland was slow…and my long runs have been slow…and I’ve only been training seriously since April…and it goes on and on.
I was just reading Competitor magazine, and I found a question for ridiculously prolific fitness author Matt Fitzgerald (my style guide can’t help me with that sentence) about pre-race anxiety. He suggests focusing on the process–on developing my race plan and being satisfied when I do my best to execute it. I’m not really sure how the eff that’s supposed to help me. Hello, Matt, if I get out there and CAN’T run 8-minute miles I’ll know that ALL MY TRAINING HAS BEEN WASTED.
Ok, not really. But it will sting. A lot. So instead I’m trying to focus on how lucky I am to be running again–and running so well again. A few months ago I was convinced I’d never run another marathon, and today I got my bib number for Marine Corps. And even if I don’t smash my PR on Sunday, a lot of my friends will smash theirs, so the celebration will still be fun. And I’ll know a lot more about me and what to expect on marathon day.
Yes, I’m trying to think like that. And trying not to puke.