Saturday, February 7, 2009

Dealing with Jitters

I decided that, due to the 50 degree weather tomorrow, that I wanted to run the Bronx half-marathon tomorrow. I haven't signed up for it, but I'm hoping I can duck out of work for a half hour so I can go get registered. It's so funny to think about how now, after just a year of training and sporadic racing, that I could just sign up for a half-marathon...for fun. Six months ago I was agonizing over having to run the distance. I think I trained for 4 or 5 months for my first one in Rochester. Now, my training consisted of a few 3 - 4 mile runs, a quicker 6.5 mile tempo run, and a 10 mile long run on Wednesday, just to convince myself that I actually could cover the distance. I won't be as fast because I don't have as many miles logged for this one, but at least I can chalk it up to another race and good preparation for my marathon kickoff in March.

Another issue I've been struggling with is pre-race jitters. I always get them and it always takes me at least a mile or two for them to calm down and for me to actually focus and run hard. I don't know what it is. I get knots in my stomach, I have to pee, and my stomach clenches up right before the race begins. No matter if it's a 5k or a half-marathon, it happens and I don't know how to calm down. I think it stems from the fact that I've raced only 5 times in my life, and for each race, no matter the distance, my splits have been better than the previous race. Obviously, if I start running shorter races more often, my splits will fall, whereas my long race splits won't, so maybe I just need to get used to the fact that, the more I race, the better I'll get, but not necessarily in the form of faster splits. We'll see how tomorrow goes (although I still haven't even registered for this race tomorrow but we'll see how it goes.)

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