So I’ve been struggling a bit lately switching gears. All summer I’ve been in maintenence mode with my running. Now I need to be in racing/marathon training mode and I haven’t been able to get there. Then, we went to Oregon to run Hood to Coast. The most fun I have ever had in a race…by far. If you ever have the opportunity to do this race…drop everything and go. Be prepared for thousands of smelly runners, more porta potties(aka honey buckets…yea, you read that right) than I care to ever see again, and compression socks galore. All that to say, I feel like it was just what I needed to kick my bootay in gear for this next round of training.
While Hood to Coast was a great kick in the pants, it also has me thinking about a major mistake I made while I was running. I played it safe. Really safe(for more on how I became a runner…click here) I have this problem on race day. I get NERVOUS. I do. Butterflies, shortness of breath, the whole 9 yards. I’ve been competing in different sports all my life. I’m 32 years old…I need to get over it. I need to feed off the race day adrenaline and those endorphins that kick in when you run. I need to feed off the crowd and the energy. Instead, I shut down. I run “slow” out of fear that I’ll hit a faster pace and not be able to maintain it.
I don’t want to be a conservative runner. I want to be a brave runner. I want to be faster. To do that I need to stop selling myself short and go for it. I need to trust the ability God has given me and stop seeing myself as a “slow” runner who can only go so fast. Not because I think I’m amazing. I’m not. Not because I believe deep down I’ll one day win one of these dadgum races. Nope. It’s all about goal setting and I realize my goals have cheapened my abilities. I can learn to run faster. I can teach myself to really race on race day and not be afraid or hold back. I’m sick of holding back.
When I was racing at Hoot To Coast I had one of the best 5 miles I’ve had in a long time, and the fastest mile I have ever run….ever. It was at 3am..on no sleep or food. I know I wasn’t hydrating enough or doing all the things you do to prepare for a normal race. This wasn’t a normal race. So, if I’m capable of doing that under those conditions, whose to say I can’t do it when I’m fresh and training and racing in my normal life. It gave me a taste.
A taste of what it feels like to run fast and leave it all on the road. When I train I usually get more risky during training runs because no one knows if I fail. Isn’t that terrible? I’ve always known this about myself. I always tend to perform better in training or behind the scenes when no one is watching. I don’t know why. No pressure I guess. I can fail or succeed but it’s really just for me. I always envied people who peak under pressure. I’m ready to change that. I’m ready to train harder, push myself just a bit more and really put it all to the test on race day. I’m ready to be brave. I’m ready to really race. Whose with me?
Do you experience race day jitters that keep you from putting it all out there?
What are some things that have helped you race well and race hard?