winning the waiting game

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?


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20 Responses to winning the waiting game

  1. Darlene says:

    Sounds so exciting. Enjoy it all.

  2. I always have race day nerves and leading up to the Princess Half Marathon I felt just as you do. I promise that on race day you will be so amazed at everything: the expo, the race, the people, the experience, the magical miles that you worries and anxiety will fade away. It’s going to be AWESOME and I’m so excited for you! 🙂
    Karen @karenlovestorun
    Karen @karenlovestorun recently posted…What Should I Eat?My Profile

  3. I’m getting anxious and excited for the 10-miler, too! I’m so excited, but now that I saw that I am in Corral B (and confused about that), I feel like there’s a ton of pressure on me. I know that I’ll finish and that it’ll be before the time requirement, but I’m not fast by any means, so that’s a lot of pressure to be in Corral B. I’m just going to focus on enjoying the race and finishing 🙂
    Rachel @ Undercover Diva: A Sitcom recently posted…Happiness is…My Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      YOU! Are going to do SO FREAKING WELL! I really, really hope we get to meet up! So proud of you and your corral B start and I know you are going to put in the most awesome showing!

  4. Kathy says:

    I wish I lived closer.. I think I would do a Disney race every weekend! My races are exciting too, nerves, but I found that by my 4th tri… I was a little less nervous and very excited to be with my gal pals, and just enjoying the surroundings!
    Best of luck! you are going to rock this! You have been working very hard. I have older children, so I give you many many kudos for getting out there with a little one! Congrats! 🙂 Smile and enjoy the happiest place on earth!

  5. It’s going to be wonderful!! 🙂 I was nervous about the Princess Half too, it’s so intimidating not knowing what to expect, but thankfully you’ll have a lot of friends there to help you through the craziness of a runDisney event! 🙂
    Kristin @ A Mom on the Run recently posted…Weekly Workout Recap: August 26th – September 8thMy Profile

  6. Kristy says:

    I get those too, and to be honest I love that part of running a race. The nerves and the tummy doing flip flops, I love that part of getting ready for a race almost as much as the race itself. To me it’s all about the experience and I love all aspects of running and racing!! Good luck on your upcoming 10 miler!!
    Kristy recently posted…Runners Spotlight Let Me Introduce HEATHERMy Profile

  7. I always get nervous leading up to a race, but yes, I think once you get caught up in the runDisney magic the nerves will disappear!!!

    Oh, and I wanted let you know that I nominated you ladies for The Liebster Award! Head over to my blog ( to read all about it and “accept” it if you’re interested 🙂
    Kristen @ The Smith Summary recently posted…The Liebster AwardMy Profile

  8. Yup, I can totally agree. I feel some or all of these different symptoms before a race. My stomach nerves were so bad before my half marathon that my stomach completely shut down! Time to learn to control the pre-race nerves. I wish I had some great tips to share, but I’m still trying to figure it out too.
    Wornout Soles recently posted…Defining Moments – David McGillivray Boston Marathon Race DirectorMy Profile

  9. jan says:

    For races that are very local and distances that are short-ish, I only get nervous a day or two before. For a 5k I’ve done before, I really don’t get nervous until the morning of the race. However, if it’s farther than normal away, if it’s a longer race than I’m used to, etc., I get nervous just as you’ve described for several days to a week!

    GOOD LUCK with your race! Can’t wait to hear about it.
    jan recently posted…Teaching Sixth GradersMy Profile

  10. You’ll do great, and with each new distance that you race, you’ll put the fear of that distance behind you. 🙂

    The thing that I don’t like about traveling to races is that my eating changes since I am eating out, and I can’t control what I’m eating the night before the race. I am always concerned about stomach issues, and my pre-race diet is very important in controlling that! TMI?
    Debbie @ DebRuns recently posted…So Many Races, So Little TimeMy Profile

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