5 Thoughts Before a Race

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.


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