I really do love racing. I don't know why, it's not like I will ever WIN (other than possibly my age group--like I DID at the Exterra 5K!!!) But, even though I love them...knowing I have a race coming up does something to me...well...some things (plural).
First of all...I check the weather incessantly. I know you know what I mean (if you've ever raced before). I check the average temperatures when I sign up, I check 10 days out, I check daily up until the day before, then I check about every hour until the race starts. It's just non-stop worry about everything weather related. Will it rain? Will it be windy? Will the sun be out? What will the relative humidity be? (And, I don't even know what that means!) With the temps getting cooler I find myself obsessing over what to wear, even on a normal day, but it's even worse for a race....it feels like there's so much at stake. (As if I had money on the line!)
Also, I pay VERY close attention to my body. At every little twinge, ache, and (say-it-isn't-so) PAIN, I stop and think about what I've done, what I need to do, and how this could effect my performance in the race. For instance, I have a niggling little ache-lette in my ankle and in my upper calf right now that I'm babying as if I had a stress fracture. I didn't go run trails with Daisy this morning because I thought I might need to west my wittle weggy. I also try to make sure I get enough sleep...AND I watch everything I eat-making sure I eat enough, but not too much...nothing that I'm not supposed to have...good quality foods with a healthy mix of carbs, fats and proteins....and certainly enough water.
Also, I try to make sure I don't do anything that could make me sick. I wash my hands ALL THE TIME. I am careful of what I touch-like the baskets at the store that are surely covered in germs that will prevent me from a great race. I stay away from coughers and sneezers-even if the offender is a dear friend who would have really liked a soy latte from Starbucks today since she was stuck at home sick and with sick young-uns. Hey, come on....I can't risk catching whatever they might have. And, if I get a sniffle I start pouring in the vitamin C...if it's worse I rush over to the drugstore to search the aisles for a magic pill that will cure what I think ails me.
I agonize over the fact that I have NOT prepared as I "should have". I haven't logged nearly enough miles. I haven't trained nearly like I should. I haven't pushed through in training--how will I ever expect to do it in a race.
And....hopefully I am learning something new each time that will help me do better then next time. I think it takes me a while to learn some lessons...I have to experiences the consequences of my behavior (namely, lack of training) over and over before it will finally sink in.
And....that's okay. I'm loving the journey. I'm loving learning the lesson that it's not about the end result as much as it's about the process of getting there. That has been a theme of my life that I've been trying to get a handle on for a long time...and one that may take me a few (or a LOT) more races before I can say "I get it". One thing writing this post has brought to my attention is how I should be doing all these things (watching the weather to know how to dress for runs, trying to stay germ-free, taking care of my body in the best way) all the time. I shouldn't wait until the week of the race to pay attention. Now, I shouldn't be a freak about it, but maybe I could even out just a little bit?
Well...sorry for the ramble....but thanks for stopping in, come again soon!