Friday Freak Out In Progress

I did something I don’t normally do. I went to FaceBook and made a post specifically to garner some encouragement. I love my FB Friends. They are very good to me.

Tomorrow morning is just another Saturday morning Half Marathon Training Team run. Only it isn’t just another Saturday morning Half Marathon Training Team run. This day, October 19, has been looming larger and larger for me ever since I opened my Training Manual and turned to the Intermediate Schedule and saw that the Intermediate teams would run a 14 mile route.

Knowing this date was coming was just sort of sitting there in the back of my mind, but as each week has gotten longer and as the long runs have gotten more difficult, the number 14 started becoming more and more intimidating. My brain is being overwhelmed by “Ohmigawd this is gonna hurt!” and I know I am setting myself up in a bad way just by being this anxious about the distance.

I was so miserable after last week’s 13 mile distance that I didn’t even walk back all the way to the Stadium where I could go pick up my new team shirt. I just limped straight to the car. I was too pitiful to let a free shirt draw me up that hill any further. I just keep thinking “If that was bad, how much worse is 14+ going to feel?”

It doesn’t help that the route covers some very familiar territory, including the location of actual race finish line (at only the 6 mile point; how is that for a mental sideswipe?), running directly past my place of work (or the starting and finishing point of every lunch time outdoor run I make during the week), and the dreaded long slog west on Broad Street (the first 2.5 miles of the race).

Yes, I can feel myself psyching myself out.

I feel unprepared. Hell, I am unprepared. This feels as big as race morning and I don’t have a plan in place like I would for race morning. Breakfast or no breakfast? How many GUs should I carry? What clothes will I wear? Those are questions I would have answers for if this was race day. And I don’t.

See? I am freaking out. So I am writing this out; getting it off my chest, actively seeking support even if it is just a shout-out from a bud on FB, and making it a point to ask myself the questions above and think up answers for them.

Some people I have talked to have asked why we run a 14 mile distance training run for a race that is only 13.1 miles long? The answer is simple: it will make race day easier to handle mentally. You know you can beat the distance and then some. Boom. Instant confidence builder. This one day with one extra mile isn’t going to do anything for me, physically, but as you can see from the freak-out I am undergoing right now, once it is over and done, I will have achieved something new, something I have never done before and that is why we run 14. It is good for your brain.

Maybe that can be my mantra tomorrow. “This is good for my brain.”

We’ll see.

I am still pretty nervous.

PS: This was my 99th post. My 100th post will be about my longest run ever. I like that.

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