Sunday, March 7, 2010

Pre-Race Jitters

Obviously this post is post-marathon but I did write it pre-marathon.  I didn't want to publish it and publicly air my aches, pains and lack of confidence before the race.  I didn't want the "you can do it" comments.  But I am publishing it now in hopes that it may help a new runner, whether it is a 5K runner or a  marathon runner, realize that the fears are normal.  I'm also posting this so I can refer back to it and document what I felt so I can go back and say felt that way last time and you Rocked It.  Note: I did run a successful marathon and qualify for Boston

I am 4 days before the marathon and have a 3 miler to run tonight.  I am on the fence whether I'm excited to run tonight or not.  I don't have much enthusiam to run right now and that worries me.  What if come Sunday I don't have the drive to run the mileage? Do I have to watch Austin Powers to find my mojo?  (That's actually a good idea to watch a funny movie.) I'm hoping that the adreline will kick in for the race.  Picking up my race packet on Saturday will hopefully get me excited.  And setting out my outfit will put me in the right frame of mind.

Another one of my concerns is naturally can I even run the distance of 26.2 miles.  Thinking back 3 weeks ago I ran 22 miles, so yes, I can run 26.2 miles.

The aches I have had over the last two weeks have been endless.  I know its normal but everything becomes a mild (or big) concern for me.  The latest one is since my 4 mile run on Monday has been an ache in the left lower quad that I feel when walking.  It doesn't hurt or is painful but it is there.  Today it isn't as bad.  I'll see how the 3 mile goes.

I looked back on my half marathon posts from the Tucson Marathon in December and guess what.  It wasn't until Friday, 2 days before that I felt excited.  Ok, I'm doing ok.

I'm coming down with a cold I think.  I emailed my coach and he recommended double dosing on Emergence C and lots of rest.  Oh, and this is an "EASY" one, no stress.  HAHA!!!

I'm worried I won't finish. I'm worried I won't qualify and I will have let people down, including myself. I haven't told many people at work because if I don't do well, I don't want them asking. My boss has a memory like an elephant and if he knew I was training for a marathon he would ask about it, for months.  Last year when I was training for a marathon and got injured, 6 months later he'd ask about it.  I really just wanted to be left alone.

Four more days. Rest, sleep, reduce stress, and don't worry.  Piece of cake.


Anonymous said...

such a great post! thanks for sharing. and i think that even as a non-newbie racer but not really experienced i was able to take a lot away from this post.

and since i'm a new reader to your blog i don't think i ever read your race report. i'll go do that :) (and just did)CONGRATS!!!!!! qualifying for boston is so huge so major kudos to you :) and first place AG?! you are awesome!! i don't think it said anywhere but was this your first marathon?

Ewa said...

thank you for sharing.
when i trained for the marathon last year I told very few people. I knew I would get support but somehow I did not want additional pressure. On the week of the marathon I came down with a nasty flu so running with a 104 fever was not an option. In a way I am still glad I kept my plans to myself. I did not want to get pity for missing the marathon either.
congrats on your BQ.

Jamoosh said...

I wrote this comment before you posted. Kidding.

It's amazing how every (pre) race is different.

sneakersister said...

Christina, I'm glad you posted this, for your sake and for everyone else's.

I know exactly where you were coming from in refraining to post this before the big day. I do the same thing. You know I kept a taper log and in that log I had so much written that I never shared publicly. One thing I remember very clearly is the fact that I felt completely indifferent toward the race. I was not excited, I was not scared, I felt like I was totally numb to it. Race morning was a totally different story. I didn't feel nervous until I started walking the 1.5 miles to the starting line, my adrenaline was pumping, I couldn't eat and I was a bundle of nerves. I mean, I knew I could cover the distance, I had a good idea I'd run it in the time I planned to, but it was my very first 26.2 miles.

I think you are a lot more centered than you think you are. Or maybe you know you are. Not sure. You always seem so calm and matter of fact, you remind me a lot of myself in that way. Maybe under that calm exterior you are just as doubtful as the rest of us.

Next time you're feeling like you're going to freak out, shoot me an email. I'll reassure you that you are going to rock it.

Lisa said...

Hi Christina,
Just read your comment on my blog about favoring your ankle once you started running again. How long was it before you didn't favor it anymore? I don't know why I do it because there isn't any pain. I think it's just something I do subconsciously. It's definitely a hard habit to break.

Lisa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Johann said...

I'm two weeks from my marathon and already feel like this. Thanks for sharing.

Jenn said...

Just reading this makes my stomach spin. I don't know how I'm gonna handle my Boston taper!! Great Post!

Julie said...

Hi Christina,
I think that everyone gets pre-race jitters. I know that when I run my first marathon I will most likly be in a state of panic! You are a strong and talented runner:) Just go back and look at your PR's and think about the races that you have had in the past where you have rocked it! Christina, you qualified for Boston.....there are so many who will only be able to dream about Boston:) I know that you are going to pull out of this and perform fantastic!! I will be cheering for you:)

Anne said...

Thanks for this post...I'll remember this when it gets closer to my very first actual race (half-marathon in May).
Congrats on rocking it and qualifying for Boston!!!! :)

justagirl said...

Gosh, this was the best!

I almost did not start my first 5k back in October due to fear and nerves. I still have so much work to do leading up to my first 10k in June. It is good to know the seasoned runners get the jitters too. But you went on to be amazing in the race and you ARE amazing!

Anonymous said...

Oh - i so understand how you felt. 10 days left and all these small aches and pains are surfacing and playing havoc with my mind. Plus, i feel so sluggish, and I'm still taking in too many carbs - does this mean I'm right on track??

JT said...

I'm guessing your feelings were spot on with about 99% of marathoners out there. "Taper Hell" I call it, where we feel every little pain, feel like we are being lazy, feel like we are getting sick, and start to doubt our training program. It does get a little easier, but trust me, those feelings still exist before race 1 or race 10.

I found it funny you waited until after the race to post this. This is why blogs, podcasts, etc are great. You realize you are not alone in what you are feeling!