A lot goes through my mind the days prior to a race. It doesn’t matter the distance or my level of preparedness. I always mull over the same thoughts:
- Am I ready? I’m sure this goes through every person’s mind prior to a “big race”. Whether you’re an elite or this is your first go-around, every person probably questions whether they’ve trained enough. I can speak for myself and say that even after successful training plans, like my plan for the October BQ, I still had a bit of self-doubt all the way up to the moment I was at the starting line. Doubt is normal and I’ve come to learn that I just need to trust the process and my abilities. The only person limiting my potential is me. Am I ready? You bet I am!
- Should I eat that?. I’ve never been one to suffer GI issues during a run or a race. I guess I’m lucky in that factor. I also tolerate fasted cardio fairly well. I used to have a fear of eating before a race because in the past I had felt either sick or “heavy” running after a meal. Time has afforded me some wisdom and I came to realize that this had a lot more to do with my timing and type of fueling prior to a run/race. Nowadays, I adjust my diet slightly to gear up for race weekend, usually ensuring I hydrate properly and eat accordingly with the reduced activity in the week leading up to the race.
- What to wear…what to wear?!. I fret the entire week leading up to the race about what I will wear. I check the weather neurotically. I draft up an outfit in my mind and make changes all the time. I hate feeling hot during a race so overdressing is a huge concern for me. With longer distances it’s harder to ditch your gear unless you plan to carry it the entire time, and I’m not one for throw away gear. I usually change my mind about 5 times before I settle on something.
- I have to get up at X time to get there at Y hour. It doesn’t matter if it is a small or huge race; I always have to be there at least an hour before start…hour and a half if I can swing it. I have anxiety about being late for anything so I always take the “better safe than sorry” approach. I’d been fretting recently about the Frederick Half since it was a last minute registration. I had no hotel plans and the location is 1.5 hours away from here. The only hotels left were a 30 minute drive from the start. I had planned this ridiculous idea that I would drive out around 4 AM to get there in time to eat and prep. Thankfully, a fellow MRTT is also going and has an open bed in her room. The plan is now to crash with her and make the reason 8 minute drive to the start from there. Usually I’m much better at planning things out (heck, I have Chicago already planned) but last minute curve balls happen and really get my BP going.
- Am I going to finish in time? It doesn’t matter if I’ve trained or not for a race, I always worry about the time I will finish in. I always go in with an idea of what I’m wanting to accomplish, whether this will be a “just get it done” race or a “give it my all” race. I like to make that determination beforehand so that I’m prepared for what I may accomplish. I’m less likely to be disappointed that way.
I apologize if this entry seems like it’s all over the place. I had a better plan of what I wanted to write but with me starting my new job, finishing this and posting it fell to the wayside.