As we move into the fall racing season (Did you her that, South Texas weather? Fall is here, cool weather is supposed to be now, can we read from the same page?) more and more runners, at all levels of experience, are talking about feeling nervous as they get near Race Day…and nothing could make me happier!
You see, according to that countdown over there, I’m only 2 days from the Running of the Bulls 5K, sponsored by the Houston Texans, which finishes through the tunnel and onto the field at Reliant Stadium – what a great experience! At least, I hope it will be, because right now I have a pretty good case of the pre-race jitters, the whim-whams, the heebie-jeebies…whatever you call it, I got it. See, this is my first race post-injury from the barefoot fiasco, and I’m really curious to see the results of my choices in resting, rehab, and resuming training. Optimism here has two roots: First, I have come to trust the online running community for advice about the things we all have in common; so when everyone told me that my first priority was to rest and heal, right away, (that I may live to run another day), I listened and followed that advice. Second, please let me give credit where it is due: I have been faithfully honest about recording my actual workouts in my runcoach training log, and the coaches have been super great about tailoring my program to complement my progress. I have never felt bored; the challenge has remained steady, and I am growing as a runner, and as an athlete in general.
I actually feel really good about this race. I see a new PR within reach, perhaps a substantial improvement – after all, I ran my first 5K after only nine weeks of training; for this one, I have nearly nine months under my fuel belt! So, I calm my nerves by focusing on today’s workout… on today’s nutrition and hydration…on getting today’s chores out of the way so I can get to bed at a decent hour…these are things I can do today, that will have a positive impact on tomorrow and the next day – something that worry can never, will never accomplish.
How do YOU deal with the jitters? Do you get more excited when new PR’s are involved, or do you try not to think about it? Share your tips and stories in the comments, we would love to hear!