Monday, October 5, 2015

The weekend before Chicago

I think I can definitely say I am feeling pre race jitters.  Every free moment my mind has, it is thinking about the marathon and playing various scenarios through my head of things that could go wrong and how I plan to react.  I am playing over and over in my mind what I think I can accomplish time wise and starting to give myself mental pep talks.  I'm analyzing numbers of my past races, my past training cycles, and thinking over and over in my head about what is feasible and what is not. And when I do all of this, I start to feel the adrenaline flow through my body and then I have to start to calm myself back down.  The main thought going through my head is if I go for my dream pace I want, will I crash later in the race?  I can't stop thinking about it and need to just shake it from my mind for the week because there is nothing I can do about it now.  At times, I've felt like I've been going into full on anxiety panic attack mode.  And this is what pre-race week is like for me.

You guys, race week is here!

I'm scared. For sure scared.  But trying to get through each day and not focus too much on it.

I spent the weekend relaxing and catching up with some friends in Atlanta. Drinks and some snacks on Friday night.  Sleeping in, doing errands, and starting a project to declutter my apartment on Saturday, followed by another dinner out with a friend that evening.  And lots of rest and relaxation in between.

I woke up on Sunday to kick the week before MY race off by cheering on friends who had their own race yesterday!  Yesterday was the Michelob 13.1 Half Marathon in Atlanta that ran right near my neighborhood (actually right by where I work) so I decided to head out and cheer on the runners.  It was drizzly raining so there wasn't a ton of crowd support and I was so glad I made the choice to go out and cheer!

I camped along the 10-mile and 12-mile mark (you could see runners at both points here) and cheered on my friends, as well as everyone else I saw.  The runners definitely seemed to be struggling.  A number of them mentioned things about tough hills, which didn't surprise me knowing the neighborhood.  A few of them shouted to me asking what mile they were at, which really surprised me to know that the race didn't have marked miles for them!  And then what was worst of all was that 4-5 people stopped and asked me for some of my water since I guess there weren't any water stops along the route!  How crazy is that!

I was glad I'd brought extra water bottles and filled up a few different water bottles for runners along the route and felt bad that the race seemed to be not well supported.  I later learned that they ran out of t-shirts, MEDALS, and that they didn't even have any beer at the finish of the MICHELOB sponsored race.  So bizarre to me.  It brought up flashbacks to Kansas City last year and the massage-less beer-less finish that I am still salty about.  I cannot wait to redeem myself from that race with a better marathon experience!  But anyways - it was a great morning cheering on friends and fellow runners, especially learning that a bust the race itself seemed to be.

FINALLY, to the runner who shouted to me that she reads my blog and wished me good luck next week?  Oh my gosh, you made my day completely!!!  THANK YOU so much and congratulations on the race yesterday!

After cheering for this race, I did a few errands and things around my apartment before going out and doing my own run.  As I mentioned, I started a project on Saturday to declutter.  I think I was so fixated on keeping my hands and mind occupied and didn't know what to do with myself without a long run to plan for.  So, you know, tapering is really helping me be pretty productive.  I got a few things done I have been meaning to for a while and I ended up rearranging my whole extra bedroom, reorganizing, cleaning, and feeling pretty productive in general.  I also caught up with some old friends - no, not the ones who I had dinner with, although it was great to see them too.  But, I was able to catch up with Olivia Benson and gang and start to get caught up on past seasons of Law & Order: SVU.  Oh, how I missed you guys!

And, I did my final run of any substance on Sunday as well!  I joined the Movers and Pacers long run training group, who have worked up to 8 miles in training, and which happened to be the exact distance I had to run on Sunday.  It was great to do the final miles with people who are all so encouraging and who have helped get me through the training thus far.

I've cooked some tried and true recipes for the week, so my food is all prepped.  Have some fun activities planned such as yoga this evening and a work happy hour tomorrow.  I'm doing some last minute appointments and race prep, packing my bags, and getting ready to give this thing a go.

I'm getting really scared you guys.  As my fitness level has progressed and my experience with these things has moved on, I am pushing myself to do more than just have the goal to "finish" but to set certain times.  And frankly, that scares me a bit because what if I miss those times?  I don't want to feel any disappointment at the end of a race I have been training the past 18 weeks for.  That I've been signed up for the past 6 months for.  And that I've been thinking of running for more than a year.

I'm scared that setting rigid time goals will lead to potential disappoint and I'm not sure how to handle that.  This week I'll be doing my best to channel my anxiety and not freak out but store it to use as adrenaline and excitement on race day.

Hope you had a great Monday and your weeks are going well!


  1. I'll be there! The current plan is to be at the 13.1 mark, failing that I'll be around the 16.5 mark.

    I will have a sign alllll for you. White sign, bright colors, gonna say something clever that you'll surely know is about you. But don't bother looking for me - look for my boyfriend. Way easier to pick out in a crowd: ...He's very tall and has a ginormous beard (bigger now than it was in that picture). Maybe I'll even make him wear the same blue bandanna.

    See you in Chicago!!!

    1. UMMMM this is amazing, thank you SO MUCH Christina!!!! I will definitely be looking for you. You have no idea how much this made my day!