my second go at this race, I feel nervous. This will be my third 50-miler and I have to say that I still don't feel 100% comfortable with the distance. It's a long way! And there are mountains! Yikes!
Before I go on, I'm linking up with the Friday Five link up hosted by Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC, Cynthia at You Signed Up for What and Mar at Mar on the Run. Be sure to show them some love! I'm also linking up with Angela over at Happy Fit Mama for her Hive Five Friday link up. It's my first time linking with her, so be sure to send her some love!!
I was thinking about this week and things I have learned over the years to keep my nervousness under control. I thought I'd share mine here and hopefully you can add yours in the comments! Here are my top fives ways to keep my pre-race anxiety under control:
1. Stay on top of the things you can control and let go of the things you can't. Stay hydrated, eat well, get sleep, etc. Don't worry about the weather but prepare for it accordingly. I also try to prepare as much as possible in the days/nights before the race. This means my race outfit, overnight bag, my drop bag, my shoes, hydration vest, food for before and during the race, etc. Getting as much taken care of before the night before the race helps me feel in control and more ready for race day rather than scrambling to get it all done at the last minute.
2. Since I'm tapering, I'm not running as much in this last week. It's important for me to honor this reduction in mileage in order to feel rested on race day, but when running is your way to relieve stress, tapering isn't always fun. I try to find other, low-to-no-impact ways to be active so I can still relax while staying true to my taper. I walk it out a LOT in the last week. I take my dog for extra walks, which helps and he enjoys. The yoga challenge I'm doing this May is also helping, thankfully.
3. It may sound dorky, but I use visualization a lot in the week before the race. It can really help set my nerves at ease. I think about all my steps on race morning -- waking up, getting dressed, going through my pre-run routine, riding to the site, running a nice, easy, steady pace during the race, crossing the finish line and returning home. I try to be as specific as possible and since I've done the race before, I'm really able to see everything. Doing this helps to calm me down because when I get to the race start, it feels like I've already gone through the motions and I feel more ready.
4. I fill my non-running time with distractions - Netflix, reading, whatever. I started watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and it's pretty hilarious. And there are plenty of ridiculous Real Housewives to mindlessly help pass the time :)
5. Last, but not least, I trust in my training. Sure, there are days I could have run longer or harder but if I focus on what I didn't do in my training, I'd flip out in the final week. Instead, I focus on the great runs, the long runs we did in the mountains, the strength training, etc., and I feel better knowing I did the best I could this go-around. It is what it is. You can't cram months and months of training in the final week. So I need to focus on what I did do and trust that it is enough for the race.
Do you get nervous before a race? How do you deal with pre-race jitters?