Before I dive into this post, I realized that I forgot to emphasize something. The Roadrunner Files are not here for me to just blab on and on about running. Believe me, I know I am far from the fountain of all knowledge. I was hoping for this to be more of a "I help you, you help me" kind of thing. Any suggestions, tips, websites, or advice you want to add in a comment, PLEASE do. It will help all of us out here. ;)
So I tried out those shoes mentioned in the last post. I ran about three miles in them and then did an hour of awesome cross training. I want to tell you all about my wonderful find with cross training, but that will be another post for another day. It rocked my socks though, and I am S-O-R-E! It feels great.
Back to the shoes.
I found that the shoes were ok for running and excellent for cross training. For me, that meant I had to return them and buy the Saucony Cohesion Grid 4 shoes (ooohhh, such a big name) that I also mentioned in the last post. I need performance running shoes. I run way more than I cross train. I was pretty bummed to return those cute shoes, but once I put the other pair on, I knew I made the right choice.
They will be so much better for running and they fit perfectly. They are just like the ones I have had for years, but even better! I am so excited to begin running in them, and I think they will have the perfect support and spring I will need for the marathon.
Speaking of the marathon, it is one month from today! You would think I would not be nervous anymore for these, but in all honestly, I am almost to the point of being sick with nerves. As I type this, I literally have butterflies in my stomach.
I am nervous because I am running this marathon for time. I have two goals in my mind. One goal, I know I can beat if I just push through after hitting the wall. I have already run two very long runs in under this goal time. The other goal, well, it is reaching for the stars, but it is a huge dream of mine, and I am training my butt off to try for the impossible. In order to hit this specific goal, the marathon will have to go perfectly. And I mean, perfectly. No stomach cramps, no leg cramps, no bathroom stops, very little walking, maintaining a pretty fast pace, and so on. For those of you out there who have ever done a long run, or a marathon, you know how rare it is to have a run without any of these happening. If I can just hit one of these goals, I will be more than thrilled!
I am not trying to keep anyone in the dark, with my specific goal times. I just don't think I could handle the pressure of knowing that everyone out there knows my goals and will be waiting to see if I hit them. I get enough pressure from myself, I don't think I could handle any more.
I guess the nerves come from knowing what it will take to reach one or both of these goals. It is going to be one of the hardest things I have done. It is going to push me to my limit. It will be very, very hard. Things that I know will cause me pain, I get very nervous for.
Needless to say, I am incredibly nervous for this marathon. The mental game has begun. And if you haven't learned this by now, running is just as hard, if not harder, on your psyche than it is on your legs.
So, what do I do to calm my nerves? I do a few things.
In some movie, I can't remember which on, there is a quote. "Keep your eye on the prize." That is what I try to do at the starting line of a big race. I just think about how great it will feel to run through the finish line and to accomplish the goal. I also jump up and down a lot. I can't explain that one. Sorry.
I also train harder the more nervous I get. If I just can't shake the nerves, I run them out of me. Yes, there is a point where fatigue can over-ride nerves.
Sometimes, I will read to get my mind off of it for a while. The nerves from reading some creepy, wacked out, intense, and horrifying murder mystery are a nice substitute from reality sometimes.
I will also try to think about how far I have come and try to be happy for all I have accomplished. This really helps me gain perspective.
It helps me a lot to talk to someone about it. Ben and my mom are my main listeners/victims. The poor souls. I hope they have learned by now to just smile and nod, and occasionally say, "oh yeah, sounds rough," or "you can do it."
And then there are the times where I just pace all over the house worrying myself sick and thinking about all that can go wrong. These usually end up with my fingernals chewed down to nubs, cold sores, the consuming of lots of empty calories, and lots of trips to the bathroom. I don't recommend this one. I avoid it like the plague.
So, what do you do to calm your nerves? Any nerves, not just running jitters. I would love some more tactics to add to my collection.
Happy trails everyone!