Pre-Race Jitters and Lessons Learned

Countdown to San Jose 1/2 Marathon: 3 Days

I’m feeling sore because I did a Body Pump workout on Tuesday. Why did I strength train the week of my taper? I don’t know. Probably because I’m a newb, and I didn’t know any better. Add that to the list of things to keep in mind for my next race.

I know I’ve run some pretty incredible times in the past, but part of me still feels like such an amateur when it comes to proper training, nutrition, and race prep. Here are all the things I wish I did differently:

1. Change into New Running Shoes 3 Weeks Before the Race

I’m still wearing my shoes that I’ve worn since June. That means 4 months of training, and around 300 miles on them. They’re nearing the end of their life, which is fine for regular runs, but you want your shoes in prime condition on race day.  Ideally, you’ll want new-ish shoes for your race, but not brand spanking new. You’ll want to take them out for a spin on a few runs and break them in. I was prepared in that I had bought 3 pairs of identical running shoes at once, about a year ago, but I’m a dummy in that I didn’t think to change them 3 weeks ago. Now, the race is 4 days away, and it’s too risky to wear such new shoes for a half marathon. Next time, I’m marking my calendar. Seriously, I’ve already set a calendar invite so I’ll be better prepared for the CIM.

If it's on the calendar invite, it's happening!
If it’s on the calendar invite, it’s happening!

2. See a Physical Therapist

I know, I know. If something is bothering me physically, I should just see a doctor/physical therapist. But I’m reluctant. I often convince myself that it’s no big deal, and it’ll heal on its own. I’m not sure why I feel this way. Maybe because I over-inflate my own ability to heal, or because it’s a hassle to reach out to my doctor, who then needs to refer me to a physical therapist and then I can finally make an appointment, or because I often need to wait a few weeks before even the said-appointment is available! It’s easier to just throw my arms in the air in exasperation and pray to the healing gods that they will take away the soreness/pain and magically give me refreshed legs.

3. Get a Coach/Join a Running Club

I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit. I’ve read books on training, nutrition, injury prevention, etc, but it’s hard to find out what works best for me. The fitness/health industry is filled with mixed messages about what’s the “best” diet/training plan, probably because it’s different for everyone. I believe I have the discipline to follow a plan when it’s all laid out for me, but the hard part is figuring out what that plan is. So I turned to Google and tried to google running coaches in San Francisco that may be a good fit for me. I want someone experienced with training elite marathoners and someone I can trust/connect with. Another option is to join a running club, so I can surround myself with runners that are as passionate about running as I am and much more knowledgeable. I do have my heart set on applying to the Impala Racing Team, which is a team of 100+ elite women runners, and a fair share qualify for the Olympic Marathon Trials (which is my dream). The thing is, you need to have met certain time standards within the last 18 months in order to apply. Since I haven’t run in over 2 years, I was planning to use my time for the upcoming San Jose half marathon to apply. And guess what? Now, the Impalas are in an application freeze and not looking for new members. Oyyy, I’ll still plan to run my best on Sunday and reach out to the membership coordinator to see if they’ll be open to having me.

More Free Time = More Time for Pre-Race Jitters

I’m taking this week off from work, which means I have more free time which leads to more time to worry about my upcoming race! 😓 I typically don’t stress out this much before a race, but it’s my first race in several years, so I’m feeling quite a bit of pressure. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite motivational videos titled “Running in the Rain.” I watch it before every race and it never fails to get me pumped up. Enjoy ☺️

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