Marathon Mind, Take 2

With just a week to go before my first marathon last October, I wrote of my Marathon Mind because I really, really had to.  It was the first time I wrote a post purely to vent.  The hamster spinning that wheel inside my brain was just too hard to ignore- that sucker couldn’t, wouldn’t and didn’t stop: marathon, marathon, marathon, MARATHON!!!  And now, with just 4 days to go until marathon #2, my hamster seems to also be tapering… nervousness and panic have now been replaced with confidence and excitement.

My kids’ Sensei giving running advice whether he realizes it or not!

I believe I have finally achieved balance, a sort of a peace, about my marathon training and impending 26.2.  Sure, my stomach still leaps into my chest and I feel the urge to pee every time I think about Sunday’s race but those feelings are, this time around, met with a steady mind- I have the right attitude and I am more than focused on my goal.

How do I know this?  Well, mainly because this time around things are still getting done around the house!  Yay me!  Last time, my Marathon Mind seriously took over- I couldn’t cook, do laundry, make plans, talk or think about anything else other than the marathon.  My life was on hold, waiting for that race.  (I was a JOY to be around, I’m sure.)  I’m still thinking about it a lot but not allowing it to completely debilitate me like before.

Luckily, my last month of training was amazing.  All of my long runs were strong and my body feels great, the taper did exactly what it was supposed to and I feel primed and more than ready to go- I am so looking forward to seeing what I can do!  I finally feel like I belong here.  Self doubt squashed- I really am a runner.

Bring it on.

Since I’m flying to San Diego for the race, I’ve already started packing and that’s a load off my shoulders too.  The more I can get done now, the more I can rest later this week, which should also calm my nerves.  Unfortunately, I really hate flying but it’s a short trip so reassuring  myself that I will not plummet to my death on this flight has been easy enough.  (Reassuring myself that they will not lose my baggage, though, not so much- I am carrying on all of my running gear just to be safe and further ease any anxiety!)

I am constantly considering my eating and hydration and as something I always do, feels nice and comfortable.  I’ve made a vow to myself to go high fruits and veggies and high complex carbs this week, eating very little animal proteins so that everything I eat is very easy to digest.  I’m going to bed early, getting great sleep, and rolling that IT out as much as possible.  (And not buying any wine at the store this week.  I swear.  Runner’s Honor.)

You’re coming home with ME, my little medal friend!

As my 5 year old son says, “Nerves fall away, let the happy stay!”  Never was a truer statement.

It’s all a matter of time, will and determination- I did it before and I’ll definitely do it again on Sunday. WISH ME LUCK!!!!!

How about you? Do you suffer from super crazy runner’s mind before a big race? How much does it affect you?  How do you ease your nerves and calm your mind?


14 thoughts on “Marathon Mind, Take 2

  1. Confidence and positive thinking are SO important, so congrats on accomplishing that before the race. (On another note, I think you’ll love reading Run by Matt Fitzgerald because he talks a lot about this.) Just remember that you’re going to go from someone who’s run one marathon to a MARATHONER. How cool is that??

    I’ve been all over the place in regards to being relaxed vs. nervous before a race. I can’t tell which one is more productive, but maybe because no matter how nervous I get, I never let it interfere with my normal routine, which I think is key (as you note above). I think being able to channel your nerves into positive adrenaline is always a good thing.

    Good luck on Sunday!

  2. Fortunately, my anxiety doesn’t usually kick in until the day before the race. Right before the race, I am extremely wound, which is how managed to forget to bring my shoes (never again). I have signed up for a bunch of shorter, smaller races to get myself more used to the pre-race energy.

    Good luck Sunday. I’m sure you’ll do great!

    • Wow, you’re good! I’ve done so many races that once I’m waiting in the corral, all the nervousness dissipates but when it come to the mother of all distances- The Marathon- I’m just nervous, nervous, nervous! More excited this time though- I really can’t wait!!!!! 🙂

  3. Runner’s Mind before a big race…runner’s mind all of the time! It’s pretty much a constant affliction where my brain gets all scrambled and I can’t focus on a single thing until I get my run on. I can’t wait to read about your race (adding your blog to my Reader now!). Good luck!

  4. Laura you have to help–I am missing a key part of my runner balance strategy: what does it say on the bottom left of the Sensei’s chart? It kinda looks like “Ptlitroc.” I’m not at all Ptlitroc! How do I become more Ptlitroc??

    • Hahaha- so from bottom left to right (in case anyone else can’t read Sensei’s handwriting): Attitude, Power, Focus, Speed/Time/Distance, and Transition. Secret to life methinks! 🙂

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