Saturday, March 28, 2015

Pre Race Jitters

I don't know about everyone else, but I always get really nervous the night before a race.

Let's make one thing clear. I run very slowly. I'm not going to be winning any awards. I'm simply not fast enough to compete with anyone other than myself, and I'm okay with that. My main goals for each race are to finish the race and have fun, but that doesn't help with my nerves. I know that you are supposed to get a good night's sleep before a race, but for me, sleep seems impossible.

My mind just keeps going to everything that could go wrong, from the possible and mundane to the really strange. What happens if I forget my bib? What if I oversleep and miss the race? What happens if I have to pee right as the race starts? Even worse, what if I pee my pants? What if I get sick mid race? Or can't breathe and have to drop out (a real concern based on a few recent runs where I just couldn't get my breathing under control)? What if I make a wrong turn and get lost during the race?

What if...what if...what if. That is the refrain that goes through my mind the night before a race.

A little planning helps to alleviate some of the jitters. I always pack my gear check bag the night before and double check that I have everything that I need. I triple check the start time and location of the race and make sure I know exactly how to get there. I try to make sure that I know everything I can about the race route and what to expect. I'll even read reviews of past years' races to see if there is any advice that I may want to know.

Still...the nerves don't go away that easily. I don't know if the jitters get better with more experience, but I'm hoping that the more races I run, the easier this will get.

I guess I have a long and sleepless night ahead of me.

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