I definitely let anxiety get the best of me yesterday, and I would be lying if I said I didn't regret that fact. That being said, I am proud that I finished and proud that it was a personal best for me on this course and distance. However, none of these positive thoughts were running though my mind while out there. Figures Huh? But that's the great thing about running, and many other aspects of life, personal reflection can take you a long way. I am aware that I let my race anxieties, my fear of injury, failure and defeat impact my performance, which single-handedly sucked the fun out. That was silly of me, and I know that for future races.
From the beginning...
Saturday was a mixed up day from the start. Mark was working the entire weekend at the Boston Flower Show, selling Maui Jim Sunglasses and decided to go out Saturday night to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Although I was hyper sensitive to him leaving, it would be wrong my me to tell him he couldn't go ( and for those who have met Mar- that would have gotten me no where and FAST!). So I spent my morning around the house catching up on laundry, composing a shopping list and swapping around winter/spring clothing. Around noon I ordered take-out food for Mark and his friend, and drove it into The Seaport Area of South Boston, where the Show was located. This probably wasn't the best idea, seeing that this area of the city is VERY populated with St. Patty's day patrons, but a little traffic never hurt anyone (insert joke here). The show was actually really interesting to see, and the flower displays are true works of art. I met a business owner who sells dog collars, leashes and belts at local craft fairs/ shows. I first same in contact with them at the Falmouth Street Fair and love their products. I purchased two collars, in addition to the one Mark brought home Friday night for Tucker. I am excited for him to be such a dapper young pup this spring!
On the ride home I had to make a quick return at Kohls and stop at the Grocery store, which took longer than planned. I arrived home around 7:30 and quickly fed the Tuckster. I wasn't hungry when I came home, but told myself I MUST eat dinner. I knew I was anxious and had been feeling it all day, but no dinner before a race is never a good plan. I bribed myself with my favorite meal: Boxed Mac and Cheese to try and "find" my inner hunger. I also boosted up the recipe by adding Greek yogurt for a more protein packed pasta dish. Sadly, this was a failure. I had a few bites, and then wrapped up the macaroni for a later date.
I headed to bed around 9 and tossed and turned til about 10:30. I then awoke at 2am and 4am, finally getting up around 6:45. I ate my typical run-day breakfast of Honey nut Cheerios with walnuts and almonds and water. I usually have a banana as well, but those were still green- Yuck! I walked tuck quickly before leaving, and headed out to Brian's, where we were all meeting, to drive into the race.
The thee of us arrived in New Bedford around 9:30, and there was virtually NO line for number pick up. This is much different than in past years, and we had LOTS of extra time before the race- bummer!
After a few trip to the bathroom lie, we found ourselves on the starting line with ZERO personal space. This is a large pet peeve of mine during races: Why do people feel the need to stretch while on the starting line? It put those around you in such an awkward spot while you contort your body into intricate and space sucking positions! Soon, the gun went off and we were on our way!
I felt okay for miles one and two. Miles three starts the first of a two-mile hill climb. The first part of the hill I felt good but my stomach started feeling funny. I quickly dismissed the feeling, blaming it on the hill, and continued on. At the top of this hill, you run on the crest for a bit, and then climb a much steeper hill. This was the hill that got me. It was around mile three or three and a half and I was getting quiet warm and my stomach was definitely nauseous. I remember thinking to myself as I passed approached the four mile marker... "I am going to be sick on this race. What should I do about that?". I decided to take water and have one of my Swedish Fish at mile four, which was much earlier than planned. At this point I was desperate to feel better, and this was my new-found solution. The water and fish did not work, and my body temperature was still climbing. Around mike six I stopped again for water, and gave in to the "sickness" between miles six and eight. I also took off my lulu in hopes that I was simply over heating? Not my proudest moments by any means! I called mark through my headphones at mile 8 and asked him to talk me out of it. I knew I wasn't ill, and I had simply MADE myself sick with worry. He is always really good at bringing me back to reality so I was hopeful he would in the case too.
Well it worked and I started to regain composure and focus. In fact miles 8-11 were GREAT! I felt strong, and my mile splits were between 8:27 and 8:35 (right on the money and will make up for miles 6 and 7 which were both almost 16 minutes respectfully. talk about sad when you hear that from the Map my Run Coach!). With mile 12 comes another hill, and my hips were QUITE tight. I knew I wasn't moving fast but I just told myself to keep on moving because any movement was better than none. I called Mark again for encouragement during this last mile, which wasn't as helpful but still meaningful. The last .2 miles or so are flat and FILLED with spectators. I saw my time and was instantly motivated to start sprinting, so I did. On the whole, it was far from fun which is unfortunate, but it's done and I beat my previous times by almost five full minutes!
Official time: 2hrs 7minutes 58 seconds
In the future, I need to be more confident and less anxious. This seems easy to do, but won't be and I know that. I also think one more long run would've helped me feel more confident in the distance to reassure my muscles, but more so my mind.
Now.... on to a fun St. Patty's day dinner with my two favorite boys!
|They are just TOO cute ;)|
Questions of the day:
Do you get nervous for races? If so, what calms your nerves?
id you do a race for St. Patty's day? If so, which one and how'd it go?