Wednesday, July 7, 2010

race anxiety?

When I was in high school my beloved math teacher, Mr. Carlson, thought I had a condition called ‘test anxiety’. He said this because in every day assignments and work I understood the math concepts and could explain them…but on a test I didn’t show how much I really knew. At the time I didn’t really know what was up, nor did I really care (I was a 16 year old girl…who cared about math?) and I was still pulling down A’s and B’s…so what was the problem? But I think what he was saying was that I was better than what my test scores showed.

Well, now, 20+ years later…I think I have race anxiety. LOL


I signed up for the 10k last minute, on a whim with my friend Debbie. I was scheduled to run 8 miles according to my training schedule, so why not make it a 10k (6.2) plus a 2 mile warm up? Sure.

Race day has been interesting for me these first few races I’ve done. I get really nervous/anxious stomach and find myself wrapped up in the adrenaline of it all. It’s so much more fun to run a race than just the miles by themselves…but it also means I psych myself out a bit. This is one reason to run more smaller races for me.

Of course I could run the same course for free outside of the race. But the race is for a good cause.

Of course I didn’t have to pay to run. But if doing more little races helps me get over my race anxiety issues, then the more the better before October (when I’m running my first Half Marathon!).

I made some mistakes (well, mistakes for me) but that’s yet another reason to run these races…learn what works for me.

Note to self. 9 a.m. start times in the middle of summer do NOT work for me. I was so HOT. I couldn’t get over mental obsession over how hot I was…until I needed to go to the bathroom.

Note to self #2…hydrate early and STOP drinking before the race. I know this about myself. I have given birth to three ginormous children and apparently don’t do as many Kegels as I should. In the past weeks on long run days, as long as I hydrate well and stop 1 hour before my run I’m fine. On Monday I drank into that hour before. Oops.

Note to self #3…in the case of notes #1 and #2 just run the race and forget about the extra miles you are ‘supposed’ to do. I went out to do my 2 mile warm up and felt the heat immediately. I also felt like I should go potty. So I turned around and ended up with only 1 mile of warmup. I decided right there it was fine and hopped in the port-a-potty line. But my body wasn’t cooperating.

Off we went…I’m familiar with these trails so I knew there would be some small up and downs. I didn’t really consider just how far down the trail we would have to go to hit the 3.1 turnaround. At the 5k turn around (1.55 into the race) I was so hot. Then it occurred to me  how far we actually had to go to get the full 10k in. Then I started obsessing about the giant hills we would have to go up and then down and then back up and down again. Oh geez.

Then…I had to go potty. Guess what? No port-a-potties on the trails. Oh well.

As we started up the first hill I had to start walking. The heat, the need to pee, the mental game all caught up with me. Luckily I get mad at myself before too long and start running again. And then the heat and the need to pee…and it starts a run/walk cycle.

Then you hit the top of the biggest hill and I’m reminded that I was happy I hadn’t thought about what the trail looked like at this juncture. Remember, it was HOT. And the final stretch of the trail before we turned around to go back is a long line without any hint of shade. Nada. H.O.T.

I’m trying to find the balance between hydrating myself in this heat and avoiding the need to pee. It’s quite comical, actually.

And you have to do that stretch of shade less trail twice. Nice.

As we’re rounding the corner to tackle the big hill again I realize that we haven’t seen anyone in a while. Are we last? Oh gosh.

Run…it’s hot, I need to pee…walk…why am I doing this? Run…it’s hot, I need to pee…walk…I must get to the finish line.

Luckily we had at least 2 people behind us that we had passed going the opposite way so at least we aren’t last (I saw later there were actually three…there was no way I wanted to be last!).

Now flashback to the morning when I was leaving. The hubs had indicated that he may show up…or he may not…depending on the boys’ attitudes that morning. I wasn’t really counting on them being there…not too fun to bring three crazy kids to just sit and wait. So I couldn’t even hold on to that thought.

We plugged along though…run/walk cycle…and finally got to the turn off for the finish line. And I heard hubs. My mood totally changed!


We rounded the bend and a group of older ladies walking the 5k turned around to see what the commotion was for (my boys were screaming and cheering for me). It was so cute to see the look on those ladies’ faces.


As soon as I got near, the boys started running to the finish line with us. Well, I thought only the big boys did…apparently the little one did too, so Deb held back to run with him. Hubs got the shots to preserve this great ending to a not so great race.


So in the end my time was just over double what my 5k was last month. Not too shabby for double the distance and a 20 degree temperature difference!

The funny thing is, I did have fun. Does that sound crazy? Crossing the line with my boys was so fun. And accomplishing another goal feels great!

Hubs is doing a 10k with me in September…so now I have a better idea of what a time goal will be for me…and some other notes to consider as well. And the boys were so jazzed by those few yards of running and crossing the line that they can’t wait to participate in the 3/4 mile kids run that day.

Note to self #4…sometimes the ‘perfect’ race is perfectly imperfect.



1 comment:

  1. Ugh...I hate the bathroom and running. I wish I could just remove my bladder before taking off. ;) Good job though!