Monday, April 25, 2005

Nerves of Steel or Jello?

I’ve been reading a few blogs lately expressing thoughts about pre-race jitters. I think this is a normal reaction, for some a healthy way to cross-check systems control, for others an extremely emotional (and even physical) experience resulting in complete physiological meltdown.

With my marathon coming up in a few weeks this is becoming a burning issue for me, so I thought I would start giving myself a pep talk. You’re welcome to join in.

The absolute best advice that I have heard so far on this subject was from Chris Brogan who said:

"Try not to fart loudly during the race. Focus on that one thing above all else. Running will figure itself out."

If you think about it these truly are words of wisdom! I mean, we run, we lift, we push, we pull, we train, we cross-train, blah-blah, only to become a bundle of nerves the day before the big race? What’s up with that? Have we no trust in ourselves? Our training? Our newly hardened bodies of steel?

Now I’m talking to myself here too, as my first marathon comes into view I am daily battling with these thoughts. Did I train enough? What if I go out too fast? What if I don't eat right? Can’t sleep? Forget my chip, my number, my pants, my head?

Before we know it our hardened bodies of steel are being led by bundle of jello nerves, wiggling from one extreme to another in the course of about a hundred milli-seconds. I’ve probably experienced just about every color of the sprectrum on this one before one race or another, but slowly I’m learning to deal with it. I’ve come up with a few thoughts that seem to help me:

Can anybody add to this? Amen!

Food! Bring good snacks with you in case the snacks after the race suck.

That's a good list, Jack. I like it. I'm so guilty of pre-race-doubting-my-training it isn't funny. Not sure why it happens. I've done ok so far. Maybe its just a defense mechanism in case things tunr out crappy, then I can I knew it would happen. Silly really.
On race day, find a friendly doggie to visit with for a few minutes (if you like dogs). And, if you are at the race alone, try to make a race-day friend....even just to chit chat with before the race starts - helps to keep the nerves in check right before the gun goes off.
I will probably be returning to this list the week before my first "big" race in July!!
glad I saw that last one...make sure you have some fun and SMILE!
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