I Kind of Want to Puke

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.


7 responses to this post.

  1. You are amazing and need to focus on the positive runs…like 6:45 mile! It’s much easier to remember the tough runs than the ones you kicked ass at. You are ready and I know you are going to rock it.


  2. First, you’ve got this. When I hit a tough patch in a run I always say that to myself to help me push through. Second, you’re not the only one kind of freaking out. We’ve had an awesome few weeks but my easy run this morning was hard and not very much fun. Same with my last race. I’m trying to not to let it get in my head, but that’s hard too. Third, we have an awesome group and were going to work together, encouraging and pushing each other. It’s worked thus far and there’s no reason why that
    won’t translate to Sunday. Fourth, running sucks when you’re puking (trust me) so you have until Sunday to be done with that, ok? Fifth, that post-race celebration is going to be HUGE. Now, let’s go!


  3. you can borrow my mantra if you want. it’ll just be sitting in the closet all weekend anyway. faith not fear. you’ve totally got this!!!


  4. Story of my life. I always get myself worked up over races. I’m getting better, but I’m still bad about it. If I don’t PR, I’m usually pissed at myself for a few days but then I get over it. It’s not the end of the world, one little race, you know? On the otherhand, sometimes I surprise myself with how well I do. Maybe setting “A”, “B”, “C” goals will help ease the anxiety?


  5. Yeah, I didn’t think I would be nervous either but suddenly I feel slow, sore, tired…. but its all in my head. The way I’m approaching this weekend is as a trial run for MCM. Lets start slow, finish fast and work together as a team. Regardless of our finish time, if we are able to work together and run a smart race I’ll consider it a success!


  6. I think the long runs have been more difficult for me this season and the track workouts longer and better than ever. (I think the same with you) So, I’m curious how it will all play out. I think that you need to not worry about it, because, you weren’t worried about PDR last time, you actually didn’t think you would PR because of our ridiculous stunt the day before. Then you did spectacular. Go in more care-free. I agree with Amy and Beth, you all have a great group and you will all work together to achieve your goal. Any dings or what not, you have plenty of time to fix prior to MCM, so there is nothing to feel like puking over!

    Plus, we’re gonna have FUN!!


  7. […] 2008, so I had two years of training resting on it. Would my body bargain pay off? I was nervous. So so nervous. After feeling like I may never run again, let alone run a marathon, after not setting a single PR […]


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