I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the feeling of anticipation leading up to a race.
For me, it can start the morning of, or it can be weeks in advance.
It starts as a hollow feeling in the pit of my belly. And then it tingles through my chest and forms a lump in my throat. It comes and goes, with no particular rhyme or reason.
I wonder what it will be like. How the crowd will be? Will there be traffic into the area or difficulty finding parking (I’m a bit of a nut about parking)? I think about if there will be too many people on the course, if the race will start on time, if my shoelaces will bug me and cause me to stop and re-lace.
Ridiculous. But that’s how I roll. My brain is forever chewing over unknowns and worst case scenarios. Sometimes, it makes me feel better prepared for unfamiliar situations. Sometimes, it serves to freak me out.
Again, there’s no pattern.
And so, as I await the Tower of Terror 10 Miler, I find myself worrying over the details I can’t control. It’s my first runDisney event. My first race over 5K. My first out of town run. My first expo, bag check, shuttle and corral experiences.
That’s a whole lot of firsts for this girl.
I’m trying to focus on how much fun it’s going to be. On how good it’s going to feel coming through that finisher’s chute (hopefully without throwing up and/or ugly crying) and claiming that awesome medal. On partying with our friends and the villains at the after-party late into the night. On getting to meet some really amazing bloggers in person, as well as to see a friend I haven’t seen in years. On experiencing this race with a bunch of great friends.
I hope that by race day, I’ll be so caught up in the magic and the electricity that these unsettled feelings will dissipate and let me enjoy the entire evening, not just the finish. I am praying that my nerves don’t lead me to choking. I have my fingers crossed that one day, I’ll feel as emotionally ready as I am physically.
In the meantime, I’m just going to keep on doing what I’m doing. Short runs during the week, a small battery of weight exercises, gradually increasing long runs on the weekends. No matter what else, I’ll at least be ready for those ten miles.
Do you get anxious in new situations?
What’s the biggest thing you dread about race days? How do you work through those feelings?