Freaking Out

Warning: rambling post ahead.

I’m finding it very difficult to concentrate on anything lately. It’s not so much taper madness but race anxiety. My emotions are all over the place. Mostly I’m feeling a lack of confidence that is totally useless and a waste of energy.

I’m excited to have an approximately 10 mile cruise interval workout today because I need to get rid of some of these jitters.

Reading Boston Marathon stories has been a mixed bag for me. Every person who has better half marathon times than me who ran the race in a slower time than I need for a BQ has me panicked. Forget that I haven’t run a half since November and I am a far better runner now. No, I’m feeling insecure. It’s irritating.

My biggest challenge is going to be pacing myself. Remember that group running coach that lied about his race time a few months ago? He ran Boston and did kind of shitty. As in, went out too fast at 8:30s and consistently decreased his speed every 5k until his final pace was over a 12 minute mile. I don’t know what happened to him, but since the decline started almost immediately, I wouldn’t think it was an injury or heat issues. I’m not shocked given what I’d learned about him, but it’s sort of aggravating that he was given power to coach people. I met up with one of the other group runners last week, and his estimates for their marathon times seems wayyyyy overly optimistic.

I stopped running with the group about a month ago since 1) I wasn’t thrilled with the coach, and 2) my McMillan training plan was pretty specific and I didn’t want to mess with it by trying to hybridize training plans.

I feel a little evil for feeling vindicated that the coach wasn’t very good. And I’m worried I’m getting bad race karma all over me because of it.

I’m nearly packed for Washington DC this weekend. It looks like the weather will be similar for both this half marathon and my full marathon next weekend. My strategy for the Nike half is to go super easy the first 8 miles, then speed up to marathon goal pace for the final miles. I intend to have fun. It’ll be weird running this race and probably not PRing, but it’s not the point. It’s another glorified training run.

I’m very excited to go to DC. It’s been a few years since my last trip there. Even the jaded boy is excited to go because we’re eating dinner at Tosca Friday night. He’s been dreaming about their lamb shank for 4 years.

On Monday, I meet with my personal trainer and my chiropractor. I love love love my new personal trainer. He just seems to care. He’s exactly what this old body needed for crosstraining. I’m looking forward to when he adds more lifting to my program after the marathon. But right now, the changes in my mobility are noticeable and make my running a little looser.


I got a new pair of Newtons (Distance III) in the mail today. I wish they’d come a couple weeks sooner so I could use them in my races, but it’s partly my own fault. I’d accidentally bought the stability version of the shoe because the color was less garish. I realized my mistake when I took them for a test run and my feet and legs said, “No me gusta.”

Luckily, I’d bought them from Roadrunner Sports who let me exchange them for the right shoes. The color is awful, but I don’t spend a lot of time looking at my feet when I run.

Anyone else going to be in DC this weekend? Anyone played the app game 2048? I’m addicted to it and it’s the only thing I’ve managed to focus on the past few days. Anyone have suggestions on how else I can calm the fuck down? Aside from a glass of wine, since alcohol is not an option πŸ˜‰


18 thoughts on “Freaking Out

  1. The yellow are more garish than the neon orange? πŸ™‚ You needed the validation about your decision to walk away from that coach. So glad your new trainer is exactly what you need for your racing. Wish I could help with the relaxing thing. I dive into a book.

  2. I think you’re having a taper moment. It’s okay, it’s normal.
    Boston was hot. Not 2012 hot but we have not seen a 68F day since October in these parts. Many of us trained in snow and freezing temps and then got tossed in the oven.
    As you indicate, pacing is very important. Restrain yourself early in the race and go for even splits at your goal pace. Late in the race you can kick it in if you still have any juice.

    Hydration is important also, and especially if the day is warmer than normal.
    I found going to the gym for weight training helped calm my nerves, or maybe using the elliptical. Just don’t do too much.
    Good luck, Andy

    • Thanks! Hydration is something I still need to work on.

      I’m kind of glad I ran my first marathon in March in Florida. The temps started at 60 degree and ended at around 82. I live in upstate NY,so winter sucked, but I did train a ton on treadmills, so the temps were at least in the 60 degree range and I think it helped in Florida.

      I’ll try the weight training. I can’t do too much elliptical because my feet hate it.

      I rally appreciate the advice from your experience. It does calm me down πŸ™‚

  3. Gosh, I’ve been there so many times!! Not being able to concentrate on anything is the worst. I don’t have any tips for you, except a very annoying “wait it out”. It does get better. Don’t compare yourself to others who ran Boston, it’s not any indication. And don’t think about when you last raced a half, if your running is better now, most likely it will reflect on your result.
    Have a great trip!

  4. Syd says:

    Good luck, J. I have a feeling that if you don’t compare to others or project your feelings about how you will do, you will be good. Stay in the day and enjoy what you do during each one.

  5. tundrawoman says:

    Focus on your breathing. Every time you think about this, your heart rate increases and your breathing becomes shallow. Just breathe, s-l-o-w-l-y.
    That’s some pretty magical thinking-how does this work exactly? Because you’ve been confirmed in your views of that jerk somehow it’s, I dunno, coming back to haunt you?! You’re a bad person for thinking and believing and being right, actually, that someone else is a blowhard?! A fraud? Listen, if this kind of thinking actually WORKED? Forget “coming back to mess up my race,” I’d be in PRISON! But if it works for you-can I borrow your magical thinking mind? Ohh, do I have a job or two for you! πŸ˜‰
    PS: I like those shoes! They’re, well, cheerful!

    • You made me laugh out loud. I guess the thought police aren’t going to jail me.

      Thanks for the reminder to breathe to calm my system. I always forget this even though we do it in yoga all the time.

      Cheerful! I like that.

  6. Good luck on the race!!! I was race stalking people I knew at Boston too. My one friend finished in 2:39. What scares me about that is that I’ve run with him in person and know how extremely fast he is, and that in order for me to BQ I’d have to run a marathon within 30 minutes of his time. Not sure how that will be possible.

  7. Focus. That’s what I had to do. Listen to music, playlist or not, and visualize running your best race. Breathe!! I know many, besides myself, who had a hard time in Boston, but I also know many who had their best race. Do t worry about anyone else but you. You CAN do this!!

  8. I’m so glad that you have a new trainer that you love and that he’s been helping you so much. This is only going to benefit you coming up! No one else’s performance in any race will make a difference in how you do. You have trained so hard and done SO well up to this point. I know this is easier said than done, but just focus on that! I think you stand a hell of a chance at getting the time you want! I hope you have fun in DC…I’m right up the road and wish I could be there cheering you on!

  9. Someone already said focus and breath – try to meditate – relax just sit with you and your breath. Slow each one and shut your mind down

    Says a man for whom this shit is so difficult to do!

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