What a surprise, right?
I have a race coming up. I feel like I've prepared the best way possible. I've had some great race times of late, and ran my first marathon just a couple of months ago.
Yet here I am, nervous and anxious.
I guess I wouldn't be me if it wasn't like that.
In some ways, I prefer it that way. The second I take my focus and concentration off something, whether it's running or writing or whatever, I slip. When I go into things with too much confidence, I fail. When I'm not motivated, I get trampled.
I'm actually quite confident in myself ahead of this race. I know I will finish in faster than last year's 2:14:50. More importantly, I know I will run a better race regardless of the time and I know I will feel better after the race. It won't take me days upon days to recover.
Still, I don't do well with nerves sometimes. They can get me too anxious, to the point where I actually cough. Yeah, I have a nervous cough. When I have something that is really causing me nerves and wreaking mental havoc on me, I cough. It's not a non-stop smoker's cough or anything. It doesn't come from my lungs and the bowels of my stomach, but rather the back of my throat. It's so annoying. What's worse is every time I get it, I can hear my mom chastizing me because of my toz de nervios as she called it, my nervous cough.
I'm not quite there yet - and if I get there I'll give permission for Mrs. LB to slap me around a little because there's no reason to get there for this race - but I still feel some nerves. Grrr.
To help combat my nerves and settle me down, I've been trying to picture the race. I ran it last year so it's not too tough to put myself right back there, you know? I was going to write about my half strategy and all but that might just get me more nervous, at least if I go into too much detail.
I want to finish in under two hours but I don't want to set myself up for failure by saying that only a sub-2 hour finish will suffice.
But in order to get under two hours, I'll have to maintain a pace of right around 9:00 per mile. That's not impossible on a flat course but this is a hilly course and running 9:00 miles uphill is, well, I'm not there yet. What this means is that I'll have to be smart on how I handle the hills, not charge up them or exert any extra energy. I have to maintain my energy, give it a bit more when going uphill without over-working my heart too early. I want to have gas for the stretch. The final three miles or so are relatively flat from what I remember. I want to be able to run my hardest during those miles, and if I'm gassed by Mile 6, my hardest might not amount to enough.
Running with blog/Loper pal Angie will be a boon and I'm looking forward to having both of us PR in the same race. We did that in the Mission Inn 10K last year, as I got 50:24 and Angie finished shortly after.
I have faith that both of us pushing each other will result in new PRs. Whether that means a sub-2 hour finish remains to be seen.
Either way, I know one other thing about myself. When the race is here, when I'm standing at the start line with hundreds of other runners on Sunday morning, all striving for the same goal, I will be focused, ready and excited.
If I can just get there in one piece, I'll be set.