Race Anxiety

I have worked my way back into running now I am dealing with Race Anxiety!  haha!  I am just over 4 weeks away from my half marathon and it is all starting to sink in.  So now I wonder…what goals shall I take to this?
I know I can finish so to make a just finish goal isn’t really appropriate.  But how well I can finish and PR (which I have already publicly stated) are now the question.  Lucky for me I have a couple more tempo runs and the Kal-Haven Relay to factor in.
At Kal-Haven I am running an 8 mile leg, pretty good distance to get an idea of what I can hold onto for a half right?  I hope so.  I am driving everyone around me nuts worrying about this.  I am so excited to race again I don’t want to have this race blow up in my face.  🙂  I want to be able to do things I haven’t successfully done in a race before.

I can be my own worst enemy at times

I have never run the race, I let the race run me.  I go into a race well trained but don’t use it to its full potential.  I run safely.  Don’t leave it all out there.  So I want to do that…but will I push too hard?  I hope not.  Racing strategy has never been a part of the game for me so now I am looking for advice and working on listening to my body more.  What does it feel like to truly be tired after a race?  I run hard but still have a lot left in the tank.

I’m not gifted but I don’t give my best 😦

I am fueling differently.  I used to obsess over fueling, every 3 miles or every so many minutes, I was trying to put something in my system.  I haven’t even worked on my fueling yet for this race.  I have only consumed water before and after my runs, except this Saturday I drank maybe 4 oz of water during our 9 miles.  My pre-run meals have all been different also.  I am trying to let my body just do its thing, not force it to work solely on certain food/drink/fuel.  It feels good.  Not worrying while I run.  I like it and it is very freeing.  I know when I start marathon training this will change but hopefully I will have found something other than GU that sits with me.  GU works great during the run but I always feel gross afterward, like it just sits in my gut.  I am looking at possible real foods or drinkable fuel.


Run off of feel, not my Garmin.  This is a big one for me.  I know that I am not the only one either.  This comes with goals to run xx:xx I have to run xx:xx pace.  Looking at my Garmin was a huge habit.  It didn’t matter what I was doing, speed work, tempo, easy, long, just for fun….I would look at it like there was some magic power inside it.  But, how do I run off of feel down a mountain?  Practice, I would assume, but listening to my body isn’t as easy for me as I would think it should be.  I have been doing a much better job at NOT looking at it while I run.  I listen for the beeps and check each mile where I am at and adjust at that time.  Not the whole time I am running.

I have spent many hours thinking about what I want out of my Half.  Ultimately, I feel that if I do these few things I can easily let myself relax and focus on each mile as it comes.  Listen to my body, fuel when I need too and run the race.  Trusting my training isn’t an issue, I know I will be prepared.  I have to trust my body to follow through.  🙂  I am using Kal-Haven as a dress rehearsal.  No it isn’t all downhill but, It will give me an idea of what pace I am comfortable at, if my new fueling works well and to see how long I can keep my eyes off my wrist!
Tonight I have a tempo run….that should also help guide me in the right direction….right?

Do you get anxiety when you haven’t raced in a long time?



5 thoughts on “Race Anxiety

  1. It sounds like you have a great perspective and a great plan for this. You can do this!! Trust yourself that you can do this. Don't freak yourself out or let your watch take control. You will be fine!


  2. LOL! Right!
    Looking at my watch on race day is going to be inevitable, but I don't want to stare at it while running down this mountain. Maybe I should just change my screens around so I can watch overall pace? But I might spend the whole race doing math! lol!


  3. I use different flavors of GU and say I “like” certain ones but it isn't the flavor so much as the texture and way it just sits in my belly afterward that I hate. I am going to check out Hammer Gel. I have heard/seen it but never actually tried it. Thanks for the suggestion!
    I am not sure if they have pacers but I will keep that in mind when I run my marathon later this year!
    Can't wait to read your post!


  4. Technically… Kal Haven is one big net downhill, right? But it's so NOT noticeable!!!! Ha ha!

    It sounds like that will be good practice for your half! I run on feel a lot too, and find my splits are often negative, then (I see when I look at my watch after the run). While I doubt I would do that on race day (not look at my watch), it gives me a boost of confidence going forward!

    Having a plan for the race (listening to your body, etc.) will likely make you feel like you ran the race and it didn't run you. Just push like crazy at the end!

    That's good your body has done well on any foods before the run! I hope you find something you can take during!


  5. I HATE GU. Ugh. It tastes like butt. I don't know how so many runners like it. I would suggest trying out Hammer Gel. I started using those and love them. I believe they are all natural (not 100% sure on this) – the raspberry flavor even has real raspberry bits in it! It's worth a try if you hate Gu but still want to use gels!

    I understand a lot of these feelings. I am going through the same thing right now, with my marathon 4.5 weeks (!) away. I am actually in the process of drafting up a post about it. So, I understand how you feel.

    When you don't have a specific goal time, it's tricky to plan strategy because so much of it comes down to how you feel on race day and what the conditions are. Maybe instead of monitoring your pace all the time, you can start out easy and make it your goal to catch up with the 2:00 pacer (if they have one). That way you stick to your own pace but it still forces you to push yourself and speed up. Or…is there another half in the next couple months you could sign up for? You might feel less pressure knowing that you can use this upcoming race as a learning experience and that you have another shot if things don't go well the first time. And if things DO go well the first time, you could use the 2nd one as a tempo run or try for another PR or just do whatever you want!

    Hang in there. No one ever feels completely confident going into a race. Learning to manage those feelings is all part of the journey!


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