Monday, July 28, 2008

Pre-Marathon Anxieties

Ah, it’s Monday. The weekend, which had its share of running and resting, is now over.

For most people, Monday signals nothing but the start of another mundane week of paper pushing, number crunching, studying, or procrastinating. I, on the other hand, at least for this week, am not most people. For me, today is the start of marathon race week. Wahoo! Underneath the façade of calmness and attentiveness around the office, I am a nervous wreck trying to keep my marbles afloat and aligned in some sort of meaningful configuration until I can find some private space to dump them all in a drawer somewhere and return to my unrelenting anxiety.

To those who may come upon my presence in this feeble state, I sincerely apologize. I am not exactly sure why I feel this way. After all, this is not my first time running 26.2. I’m not sick, fatigued, injured, or overtrained. I’m not even expecting to run so crazy fast or to beat a certain time (after all, this is a sort of celebratory birthday run for me, remember?) So there really is no reason why I can’t run well and have fun…Ah, but there lies the rub. If there’s no reason why I can’t run well and have fun, then I really owe it to myself to run well and have fun. Catch my drift. Anything less would be considered a failure for me. There, in a nutshell, is my quest for this week. How do I relax my body and mind enough to enjoy the miles, the travel, and the scenery while at the same time maintaining a level of focus on my race strategy, my pacing, and my race goals? It’s a very intriguing question really, one that will probably take me the bulk of a transcontinental flight to figure out...

In other news, I’ve picked out a marathon mantra that will carry me through the tough miles. “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the Gift.” – Steve Prefontaine. The words came to me in a dream I had over the weekend as I felt asleep stressing out about the race. I heard the same quote again this morning on a running podcast on my way to work so I knew it was meant for me!

For the few of you that actually still want to hear my anxiety driven ramblings on a race that has no particular relevance to anyone other than me (or the few thousand who will be running with me), my life is going to be pretty hectic the next few days so I’m not sure if I’ll get to post again. If you all don’t hear from me until after the race, please know that I sincerely appreciate all the support and will run the race knowing that a bunch of you are with me virtually cheering me on…And of course, I’ll have a rambunctious race report to recap all the festivities.

In the meantime, please feel free to preview the scenic course (and all the damn hills!) with me. San Francisco, brace yourself…here we come!

20 comments:

*aron* said...

i am also having anxiety and a lot of nervousness! but this is my FIRST 26.2 miles - eek!

hope you have a relaxing week (or an attempt at one) and a safe trip over here to CA!! good luck at the race!!!

Andrew is getting fit said...

Enjoy it!

Irish Cream said...

EEK! My heart is jumping out of my chest just reading about your pre-race anxiety . . . I know the feeling all too well! Best of luck, Lam--I'm totally feeling that this will be a great race for you. Can't wait to hear all about it!! :)

P.O.M. said...

Even though it's not your first, it's still a big day. It's a long run, new location, different experience - enough to cause a little anxious stuff to float to the surface. But exciting too!

Take it all in :)

Melanie said...

love the mantra... good luck this weekend.

Run For Life said...

Have fun and just do what you do!

J said...

I've used that Steve Prefontaine quote before, It really is a good one. Good luck with the marathon!

Laura said...

For some reason, whenever I watch footage of lead packs, I'm always like "oh that doesn't look fast I could TOTALLY do that." Then I find out they were doing four or five minute miles compared to my nine or ten :) Oops.

I'd still love to meet up - are you going to any of the speaking events? Aron and I were talking about meeting up at Dean Karnazes' talk. Drop me an e-mail at absolutromantic at gmail and we can coordinate!

Xenia said...

Good luck and have a great time!

Betsy said...

I get anxious before pretty much every race, so I know how you feel. Try to stay sane, and know that I'll be cheering for you!

Heather said...

Lam - great post and great mantra! It seems like everyone can relate to the pre-race jitters, myself included.

Have a great time and don't forget to be kind and good to yourself this week.

Reid said...

Hope you'll be able to have a relaxing week. Good luck with the race! Can't wait to hear about it.

nwgdc said...

i know that i will have a rough time running "easy" and "fun" marathons this fall...so DON'T SCREW IT UP OR IT'LL BE EVEN HARDER FOR ME!

i guess either you will decide to keep the pace easy or the hills will decide that for you, right?

i can't wait to follow along and hear all about it!

Laura said...

Lam, happy birthday! I'll look for you at the expo. My running outfit will be orange and hot pink, so I shouldn't be too hard to find, though I may throw on some sweats if I'm cold - when I pack, I'll let you know what those look like :) Looking forward to finally meeting you!

Viper said...

Good luck quelling the anxiety. Have a blast and a good birthday. Don't forget your post-race hydration! Cheers!

sRod said...

GOOD LUCK LAMINATOR!!!! Have a blast!

MizFit said...

such an insightful post as I, for some reason, wouldnt think youd be nervous.

me? Im just TOYING with PLANNING to MAYBE run a marathon SOMEDAY and Im all kinds of anxious.

Christine said...

Good luck at the race! you are going to do awesome!!! Have fun meeting up with the bloggers too... :) I wish I was in marathon shape again!

The Laminator said...

Hi Everyone...thanks for the wonderful wishes. You guys and gals are the best. Will be thinking of all of you when I'm out there...now just 3 days away, yikes!

Laura said...

Thanks so much for the tip! I'm going to pack tomorrow and won't be leaving till Saturday morning, so it definitely helps :)

I'm still planning to race in a tank top and skirt, but will try to dig up some old sweats to wear to the start.

 
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