The morning switch-off. I get home from a run, he goes out for work… but those 5.3 seconds of talking is sure fun;)
My day started off with 10 miles @ 8:28 average. This week will be back up to about 55-60 miles and then there will be a big drop down next week leading up to the race. I’m excited to see how my coach’s training plan plays out on race day because it is a lot different than anything I’ve done before. So far it has resulted in a few PRs which means a PR in the marathon is bound to happen;).
These two wanted to get in a little run to school too.
3 post-run endorphinated humans:
Skye and I went to the park together later on in the morning.
Brooke never wanted to try any of the big slides until she was 5ish… Skye isn’t even 2 yet and the entire time we are at a park I am focused on making sure she doesn’t go too fast down the slides or jump off the sides of the big toy onto the ground like she see’s the big kids do and tries herself.
We did the normal after-school routine.
Recovery Quinoa Salad is a staple this week for me. Squeezing in every single nutrient possible.
Along with some overcooked rolls… they were still delicious but I prefer all baked goods/bread barely cooked;)
Skye joined me in resting up on the couch for one more big workout this week!
I’ve put a lot of work into my upcoming marathon and have set very large goals for myself (I mean a 6:35 average pace!!!)… I keep waiting to feel nervous about this upcoming race but the only thing I am feeling is excitement. I’m sure I will feel nerves the day before and morning of but other than that, my nerves have calmed down a lot over the years! A few years ago my nerves overtook me… I wouldn’t sleep, my IBS would kick in and it was all I could think about.
Here are a few of the things I do now to help avoid feeling the way that I used to for weeks leading up to a big race:
*Some pre-race nerves are GREAT FOR US. They help our body to prepare for the race and they get our heart beating and the adrenaline pumping. If you feel some nerves, don’t you worry… that is NORMAL!
*I see races/workouts as GROWTH now rather than something that measures my worth. My friends and family are all going to love me the same no matter what time I cross the finish line and my worth doesn’t change if I run a 20 minute pr or if I don’t make it to the finish line. Races are just chances for growth. I’m going to learn a lot on the course about myself, I’m going to be challenged and stretched, I’m going to have to make decisions and get out of my comfort zone = no matter what time I cross the finish line = I’ll grow as a person. When I see a race as a chance to grow, the nerves aren’t there but if I see a race as a way to prove myself/measure my success as a human = ALL OF THE NERVES.
*Ask for some help. When the nerves set in, a good pep talk from someone positive in my life is just what I need to calm those nerves down.
*The race is the celebration. The hard work is done. The crazy early alarm clock wake-ups, the workouts when you are already sore, the mornings you don’t want to go out… those are done. I like to view the race as a party with 4,000 of your closest friends ha (or however many people are running your race). Now you get to go celebrate your work with people out there cheering for you, people handing you food and giving you a medal as you cross the finish line.
*Andrew always laughs at me but I start packing for a race days (ehh sometimes weeks) in advance. Having everything I need ready and packed takes away the nerves because I feel prepared for the race.
*Leading up to a big race you will have a bit more time to read because your mileage is dropping so grab a book that will help you train your brain and it will make all of the difference! This book is what I am reading (Kim recommended it) and I also love this book, this book and this book to help on this topic!
*This is from the above book but it is something you can do RIGHT AWAY when you feel nerves creep in…
“Do this exercise when you observe that you are getting tense, feeling down or stuck in a repetitive negative thinking cycle. Breathing in this manner will help you to slow your heart rate, calm your thoughts, and find inner stillness in the moment…. Your mind becomes more powerful as it becomes quieter and clearer. So breathe deeply and mindfully throughout your day. Also, when you are not thinking about the future, it’s difficult to fear it. Fear is the enemy of effective action!”
*Let go of the uncontrollable things. The weather, the course, what other runners are doing etc… we have no control. If the uncontrollable things are bringing you more nerves, it’s time to let go of them because there isn’t a thing you can do about them.
*To go along with the one above, hold onto the controllable things. Come up with a race plan for the day, plan out your nutrition, make sure that you have a mantra for each mile, create the perfect playlist etc etc etc. Having those things solidified calms my nerves.
*Race more often if you can:). I can’t even remember how many races I have done in the last 7 months (but I think I have done 9 races) and it helps so much to race often with your pre-race nerves. If you race often you lock down a good routine for your nutrition and gear, you are more used to the environment and you prove to yourself that you can do hard things over and over again. Your brain and your body just get used to it all and you relax a lot more!
*Smile every time you think about your race leading up to it. My mom taught me this trick and it really works. It will trick your brain into being excited for the race rather than nervous and the smile will trigger positive thoughts about yourself and your race whenever you do it.
*Put some trust in your training and put a lot of trust in yourself. Think back over your training and think back over all of the times you have done something hard… I’m sure that number is pretty high. You’ll be able to do something hard again, there is no doubt about that so don’t worry about it!
*I’ve learned over the years to embrace pain. I expect it to come during each race and sometimes for the majority of each race. It’s a lot easier to just know it’s going to be there and that it is part of the stepping stones to get to a pr rather than fearing it or getting nervous about the pain leading up to a race. I just know the pain will be there and I’ll reach into my mental toolbox to get out the tools I need to get through the pain when it comes.
*I tell myself, ‘if this isn’t fun… why are you doing it?’ There have been times when the nerves have started to kick in (ie the 5k and 10k distance brings out more nerves for me than a marathon does?!) over the last 2 years but something that stops them is thinking about the fact that I DO THIS FOR FUN! I’m not shooting for a gold at the olympics, I’m doing this for fun and if it stops being fun (or wrecking my days because I’m so nervous) then I need to stop doing it! That puts it all back into perspective for me that I do this because I love it and not to be a stress case about it all.
*If your nerves are coming from the fear of failing… I love this quote from Des Linden here:
“We fail all the time, and we learn from it and we get better. I think that’s amazing. You fail your way to success. That’s how it happens, and I’m super comfortable with that. I have no problem pointing out a bunch of failures in my career. But I don’t define myself or my career as a failure.”
And this one from Michael Jordan (source):
“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
Don’t fear failure… fear not trying!
How do you deal with pre-race nerves? Any tips to help or things you’ve learned? Do you deal with pre-race nerves more or less for different race distances?
Currently reading a good book? What is it?
Tell me about a big running failure you have experienced and what it taught you!
Baked goods/breads… undercooked, cooked properly or well-done?