Post Race Signup Nerves – How to Beat Them
Flooded with Questions
It was the kind of rainstorm that only happens in Texas. They say that Dallas only gets 10 inches of rain a year and “man you shoulda been here the day it came down!” It was that kind of night. My wipers could not keep up and the underpasses were flooding, yet I kept driving toward the specialty running store in that ritzy suburb just north of downtown. It was the last information session before this season’s training group and I had lots of questions, I just had to get there. Sitting in a folding chair next to super fit people in brightly colored running gear I tried desperately to pay attention to the logistics of it all; weekend long runs, weekly miles, various experience levels, but in reality I was questioning everything about my commitment. Do I have what it takes? Am I fast enough to keep up? What if work gets busy and I can’t make a workout or two? Why is everyone in neon colored shorts but me?
Find your Reason, then “Just Relax”
Every runner has a reason, a story as to why and how they found themselves staring at a 4 or 5 month training schedule with a race that ends in “thon.” Your reason may have been there for years or just recently popped up in your mind. I’ve heard some amazing stories about wanting to get healthy, honoring a loved one who has passed, making a positive change after a divorce, finding some athletic glory, or simply just because it is a good challenge. Whatever your reason, it has brought you to this point. You are ready. You’ve made the commitment to take on the challenge of a quarter or half marathon. You have taken the first step and it is a big one. Now what?
As you look at the training program, many of you have peeked ahead and see 10 and 11 miles on the schedule. Those numbers are on the page, but our brains have a hard time wrapping themselves around such a number. 10 miles, really? I’m now huffing and puffing after three. No worries, that is what the schedule is for; to get you from where you are currently to being ready on race day. That’s my job. Your job is to show up and follow your program to the best of your ability.
Give Yourself Time
It is normal to have some trepidation and self doubt. Part of why we do this is because most people won’t! All I ask is that you relax, take it one day at a time. Week by week the training will build the miles slowly. Allow your body to get used to the training, be patient with yourself. Let the training come to you and don’t stress about the next week or the mileage 4 weeks from now. Run today’s mileage and get back to your life. Know that you have made the most important step already, the first one. When you find yourself doubting your ability to go further, look back on the reason that led you to this point. Hold on to it and let it lead you to the starting line on May 5th.
YOU Have What It Takes
I had already signed up for “The Half” as it is affectionately known in Dallas (officially the DRC Half Marathon), but I was ready to forfeit my entry fee and go back to normal sports like soccer and volleyball where I felt comfortable and not an outsider. I did make it to the info session and instead of dashing right back to my car, I spoke briefly with the head coach who convinced me that all my concerns were normal and that I would have more! I was already a veteran of one half marathon, but I was trying to do it the right way this time and I was so nervous. Somehow I found the courage to show up to the first workout, and the second, then it became the routine. Guess what? It turns out that neon gear is SUPER cool. It does not matter if work gets too busy and I have to miss a workout here or there. No matter what pace we run or walk, we are all fast enough. And yes I have what it takes and so do you!
If you have more questions than answers, let me have ’em! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or hit up the Cap City Half Facebook page.