My next race is this Sunday, and I'm already freaking out.
I'll be running the 5k portion of the Magnificent Mile Chicago Women's Half Marathon and 5k.
I was originally registered to run the half marathon. I signed up as soon as registration opened and immediately began training. I was making improvements in both speed and distance. I felt great. I knew I could do this race! It was going to be awesome! But then life happened. Health problems put an end to my training, and by the time I was finally able to run again, I was starting from square one (literally - I was having trouble finishing even one mile) and didn't have enough time to safely train for a half marathon. Cue sad trombone sound.
So...yeah...I had to downgrade my entry to the 5k. I was bummed. I'm still bummed. I spent a lot of money on a race only to have to switch to a shorter and much less expensive race (sorry, no refunds).
That being said, I'm trying to be positive. At least I'm running again. A 5k may not be a half marathon, but it is better than nothing. My health is improving. My running is very slowly improving. I can do this. Right? Right?!?
I'M FREAKING OUT! What if I can't finish? What if I'm the last one to finish? What if I end up walking the entire race? My running is getting better, but it still isn't where it was when I had to stop my half marathon training. Sure, I occasionally finish 4 or 5 miles during my runs. But more often than not, I find myself struggling to finish 3 miles. What if people judge me and laugh at me as I huff and puff my way to a sad, slow finish?
Okay. Breathe. There are too many "what ifs" in that last paragraph.
I'm trying to be nicer to myself. I'm trying not to let my general pessimism and negativity overtake and destroy everything I enjoy. Yes, I'm nervous. Yes, my mind immediately goes to all the things that could go wrong. I know, however, that no matter how horrible I may feel while running the race, I will feel a million times more horrible if I don't run the race. I need to remind myself about all the things I like about running. I need to remind myself why I started running and why I keep running. I need to remind myself about how much I hated those many months of little to no running.
My goals for this weekend:
1. Don't die.
2. Cross the finish line.
3. Enjoy the race and have fun.
4. Don't beat myself up if the race doesn't go the way I want it to.