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All that’s left to do is wait…

October 6, 2010

December 28, 2009.

That’s the day I was given the go ahead from my doctors to run again after my long recovery from the injury I gave myself by running too soon after the marathon last year.

December 29, 2009.

That’s the day I decided that a marathon wasn’t in the stars for me in 2010, and that I would focus on improving my half marathon time.

That was 282 days ago.

I have spent the last 282 days with a single focus: set a new Personal Best Half Marathon time on 10-10-10.

I really didn’t realize how much pressure I would be putting on myself when I announced that goal. Pressure that comes from both myself, and the people who have been with me through my training. And I know they mean well. And I know that the people who care about me will be proud of me no matter my time on this one race. After all, it is my 5th half marathon in 2010, and that in itself is an accomplishment.

The thing is, last year was so much easier. Last year I was running my first marathon and my goal was simply to ‘finish on my own two feet, under my own power’.   There was no pressure to do it in a certain time. All I had to do was finish.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a great 9+ months of training and I know that I am more than capable of running a strong half marathon.  Even if there were a couple aches and pains that slowed me down from time to time, all in all, training went as well as I could have hoped.  I feel stronger than I ever have. I feel faster than I’ve ever been.

I feel ready.

So why am I freaking out so much?

Why can’t I stop thinking “What if?”. “what if I don’t set a new PB?”, “What if I totally fall apart & don’t finish?”, “What if a shoe lace comes untied and I fall on my face?”, “What if one of those silly little aches & pains comes back and ruins my race?”. Then I start to think “what if I have an amazing race, and blow my time out of the water, and collapse at the finish line?”, “what if I push too hard & become that person that passes out/pukes/shits their pants at the finish?”. Then after I’m done thinking that, I start with the ‘What if I don’t have the energy to get out there and cheer  on my friends running the marathon?’, “what if I completely exhaust myself & spend the next 3 days in bed with dehydration/exertion headaches?”

I don’t know if this is typical for runners in taper. Sometimes I think I am the only one who spends the days leading up to a race full of self doubt.

The thing about taper is, there is nothing left to do but wait. You can’t do any hard training anymore, all you can do now is short easy runs to keep your legs moving. There is nothing that you can do now to improve your race time. You just have to wait for race day to get here. The only thing you really have control of now is your nutrition & hydration and getting enough rest. Your mind has so much time to wander, and you don’t have those 2-3 hour runs to help clear it. Once you’ve got your race day clothes picked out, and  your nutrition purchased, and all the physical things you need ready for race day, all that’s left to so is wait. All that is left to do is think, and plan, and wait, all the while wondering “What if?”.

So I leave you with this…

What if I run an amazing race, set the PB I am aiming for, and feel great at the finish line?

Good luck to everyone running this weekend in whatever event you are running. Extra good luck to my friends Jen & Bri who are both running their first marathon this weekend!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 6, 2010 5:58 pm

    Kirsty you’re going to do great as you’ve done a heap of training and recent “test races.” When in doubt – hula hoop?

  2. October 7, 2010 4:09 pm

    I am wondering if my injury this year was fear-based – from putting too much pressure on myself I tensed up so much that I couldn’t get to the finish line. Which is silly because I was feeling so strong and ready – right up until the Monday before my marathon when I was crippled with the muscle injury.

    It’s hard to just relax and enjoy the run – I’m with you there. I don’t have an easy answer because I’m debating whether I can even make it to the start line to run an 8k at the moment!

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