Friday, October 9, 2015

Pre-race jitters

Happy Friday, everyone!

Sorry for falling off the planet this last week. It's that magical period known as quarter-end close. This translates to me trying to meet lots of tight deadlines in the office.

First off, GOOD LUCK to everyone running the Chicago Marathon on Sunday! You've all got this and you are all rockstars. I hope to do a little bit of marathon spectating in Greektown, which is around the halfway point. Look for me near the Mile 13.1-marker or within a block or two afterwards.

Isn't this sign the best? This woman GETS it.

Now while I am not running the Chicago Marathon this year (flashback to my recap from 2012), I am running the Prairie State Half Marathon tomorrow morning.

This will be my 24th half marathon. However, I am still nervous. (I actually still get nervous before ANY race, regardless of distance!)

I know halfs are nothing compared to fulls (edited:) in terms of distance. But my thought process during the past week was still nutso.

Originally, I entertained the thought of taking things easy this week to rest my legs. Then, I got antsy. I felt like I wasn't doing enough to keep the blood flowing. So for the most part, I stayed with my usual workout regimen, but took a few things down a notch. Now, in retrospect, I'm wondering if I still did too much. Sigh.


I believe yoga is a cumulative practice that grows over time. Sadly, my yoga practice has taken a big hit during the past few weeks. This is due to class cancellations in combination with schedule conflicts. I'm apprehensive that the reduced yoga will start showing its negative effects now.

Even when I am doing yoga regularly, nearly all of my entire lower body muscles are almost perpetually tight. I've been trying to stay on top of foam rolling. Unfortunately, my muscle tightness is like a springboard. I'll foam roll before bed, then wake up the next morning feeling tight again. Or, if I foam roll during the day, the tightness comes right back a few hours later. It truly never ends.

The ghost injuries are real. Yesterday, I took a Zumba class and at one point I thought I had twisted my ankle. The day before, I was lifting weights and thought I had tweaked my shoulder. Another day, I was on a Divvy bike running some errands, and thought one of my hamstrings felt weird.

Today I am debating whether to take a total rest day versus an easy 3-mile shake-out run. There are pluses and minuses to both, of course. Because of all the ghost injuries, I'm leaning towards resting. But even so. Thou shalt never underestimate my ability to still feel phantom pains simply by, say, pushing the buttons on the microwave too quickly.

Historically I haven't had recurring issues with pre-race fueling or hydration (knock on wood). But lest I add to the list of jitter sources, I'm very conscious today of what I am eating and drinking. My workplace is a beacon when it comes to free food. I'm trying to be prudent today. Chocolate-chip cookies, be darned.

I am already fearing the inevitable pain that ensues somewhere between about Mile 10 and Mile 12.5 where I swear I'm never going to run again.

In summary - all of these nerves for a HALF MARATHON that I'm doing for FUN!!!

Amidst all the madness, I am also already eagerly awaiting that post-race moment where I think, "When can I sign up for another race and do it again?" =)

28 comments:

  1. First of all, good luck on the half tomorrow! And it's not that half marathons are nothing compared to fulls...they are just a different thought process, which is why you are nervous. You can do so much more with a half as it's (duh) shorter. But that's why it's nerve racking! Trying to PR...then you have the thoughts of how to actually run the race! It's stressful! So good luck!

    Also, my thoughts are to rest. Stretch, foam roll, then foam roll again since it's always there! lol.

    Hope to see you at the marathon. I will be wearing a brightly colored striped shirt and (probably) my FNRC visor but not sure about that yet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Amanda! Yes, you are absolutely right - half marathons are DIFFERENT. I've long said that I think 5Ks are tougher than half marathons because of the different pacing strategy. Every race distance has its own unique challenges!

      Yay for the vote on resting and doing lots of foam rolling! You understand. =)

      I hope to see you this weekend, too! I'll keep an eye out for the FNRC visors since they are very easy to spot in the crowd!!!

      Delete
  2. Ha! The main thing I have been fretting about this week is leg tightness. I am now second-guessing my 2 week taper (should it have been 3 weeks?) and the quality runs I ran two weeks ago (were they too fast?)! I just need to remind myself that pre-race anxiety is normal. Everything will be fine when the race begins! Good luck and have fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Leg tightness is the worst. It's such a tricky balance between having fresh legs vs training hard. Tapering can really mess with our heads, too! Indeed - everything will be fine when the race begins. These races are our parade and our time to celebrate all the hard work. =)

      Good luck to you this weekend, too! I'll be keeping an eye out for your on the course!

      Delete
    2. Thanks! I think Erica and Marcia are going to be in that vicinity as well. Will be a great boost to see you guys at the halfway mark! :)

      Delete
    3. I'll hopefully be able to join forces with Erica and Marcia!!! Can't wait to see you out there tearing it up!!!

      Delete
  3. Good luck! I know you'll do great! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Natalie! Much appreciate your confidence in me! =)

      Delete
  4. ha! This is so great and all so true! My last race I had to force a smile because I wanted to cry it was hot out. As soon as I am done, I want to do it again, it is a sickness LOL
    I get really nervous too! always, I try to stay calm, but I get awful butterflies in my tummy. I hope you have a great race :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Karen, and thanks for understanding! Oh my goodness, I've wanted to cry so many times while out on the course for a variety of reasons. I usually don't even have it in me to force a smile - so good for you for being able to do that! The butterflies are huge! They are the worst when I wake up in the morning, and when I'm lined up at the start line. You too?

      Appreciate the well-wishes for the race!!!

      Delete
  5. Just remember the part where you're doing it for fun and you'll do great :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great advice, Anne! I've seen some spectator signs with those types of reminders, too. =)

      Delete
  6. Goodluck during your race Tmrw. I usually don't run the day before the race, but only you can tell what your body can handle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I think I am going to take it safe and avoid running today. The benefits from fresher legs outweigh the potential benefits of shaken-out legs, so to speak. =D

      Delete
  7. Good luck tomorrow! I may do that one next year! I laughed about the phantom pains--I had phantom nasal congestion this morning. Then I left my car keys at the Runners World booth at the expo and had to go back. So now I have phantom Alzheimer's. If you see me wandering in the wrong direction at the marathon, point me the right way! I'll look for you around mile 13-14!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you'd really enjoy Prairie State! Definitely consider it for next year. =) Oh no on the phantom nasal congestion and the phantom Alzheimer's! (I actually have phantom Alzheimer's on a more regular basis than I'd like to admit, LOL.) You are going to do awesome this Sunday, Wendy. I'll keep an eye out for you on the course!!!

      Delete
  8. This sums me up right now. I have a 5k tomorrow but it's the first race in over 2 years that I can run. I haven't done anything since Tuesday and I'm thinking I need to keep my legs loose. Do I do anything today? Probably not. My jitters will keep me up and pacing at home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good luck at your 5K tomorrow! You are going to do awesome! YES on the jitters keeping us up and pacing around at home. That's the bright side, they will keep the legs loose, right? =)

      Delete
  9. LOL, deep breaths! You know this course, and you know you can run the distance and enjoy it, so go do that! :) Have a great race! I'll miss ya! :) Bobbi should be out there - hope you see her!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. [DEEP BREATHS] Thank you, Kim! You've always been a calming presence when we run these races together so I will miss you, too. Thanks for the heads up on Bobbi being there tomorrow, yay! I will look for her!!! I hope things go well at the Vegan Fest tomorrow!

      Delete
  10. Have a great race tomorrow! Nothing to be nervous about. As you know, you'll be fine the minute you start running. I'd come cheer for you if I wasn't going to a build-a-scarecrow event with my Girl Scout. Looking forward to finding you and Erica at 13-14 for some cowbelling Sunday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Marcia! Much appreciate your words of wisdom, as always. It was so good to see you while spectating the Chicago Marathon on Sunday! I'm glad the build-a-scarecrow event went well, too!

      Delete
  11. I'll be cheering!! You will do great! My sister is running too...you guys have great weather!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bobbi! It was so great to see you on the course!!! You gave me such a fabulous boost! Thank you again for the photo, too!!!

      Delete
  12. I hope the half went well today! I'm the same way with the muscle tightness. In my legs and back - no matter how much I roll and stretch!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Alexandra! Isn't it insane how our muscles seem to never want to loosen up, despite all our efforts to get them to relax?!?!?!? Sigh!

      Delete
  13. I always get nervous before all of my races. I laughed when you wrote about the ghost injuries. :-) I know you already ran the race so I'll read your recap.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't it crazy how even after running dozens and dozens of these races, we still feel butterflies before racing? Someone told me that's actually a GOOD sign, LOL. Congrats on the Chicago Marathon on Sunday, too!!!

      Delete