Greetings from your not-so-frequent-solo-poster Moon! I feel honored to be writing today, April 1, my favorite holiday. I also find it ironic that a solo post is due for you, readers, on April Fools’ Day (it’s not a joke, this is a real post!).
Hmm—and this is just a side note—I auspiciously also had a dream earlier this week about Chaucer (from whom we glean our first correlations between foolishness/silliness and the first day of April), the apocalypse (this is a recurring theme in my dreams >_>…), disease, and Disney World. Buuuut, more on that another time. What this really means: it is fate. Write this post.
What I really mean to discuss today is Pre-race Anxiety. Notice the capitalization of that title. For me, it really should be PRE-RACE ANXIETY! in order to properly emote the proper levels of freak-out.
I’m not sure if anyone out there experiences this like I do, but before races (usually two weeks before until the race is over) I get super nervous. I worry about failure to finish, injuries, illness, energy levels, eating, scheduling, choking on water while running, you name it. It’s a wonder that I even finished my first race at all.
As I’m sure we are all aware: stress really messes with your groove. This is probably the worst consequence of being anxious and running. Here is just a short selection of anxiety-laden incidents that I have experienced:
1. Running with someone: “Ahhhhh, taking in too much air, hyperventilating, what if my running mate thinks I’m slow?! Are they tired yet? I think I’m tired. I don’t know, but I don’t want to look dumb. Do I look dumb?!”
2. Waking up in the night: I can’t sleep. What if I can’t run fast enough? It’s… Okay, I guess I’m going for a ten-mile run.
3. …I didn’t have enough time to finish ten, only got to 8.5 before I had to get ready for work. Should I run later? During lunch? Ugh, I’ll just have to do another set of ten just to make sure I really can run ten miles without stopping.
4. At the gym: Of all the treadmills in here, WHY did this person have to choose the one right next to me? Can’t breathe, please go away so I can run with some sense of calm ;-;! [Jenn's Note: Why DO people do this???]
5. THE RACE IS. I NEED TO RUN 13.1 MILES RIGHT NOW.
So, there is a glimpse into my pre-race psyche. It’s not pretty and usually my strategy for dealing with it is over-preparing. This gives me enough confidence to run the race without too much doubt. I’m not sure this is exactly the best way to go about dealing with anxiety, but for now it will have to do. Any advice from other anxious runners?
I’m sure most of you are thinking, “Ummm, calm down there, Moon.”
I can’t calm down, I’m always nervous!!