With just over a couple of days before I run my first half-marathon since I was 11 (which doesn’t really count as it was 30 years ago), I’ve become a bit ‘sort-of-nervous’.
In many ways this is totally illogical. I know I can run the distance – several training runs of between 12 and 16 miles over recent months have convinced me that it’s probable that I’ll be able to get round the course. I’m not nervous about running the whole race at 8 minute mile pace – I know I can’t do that quite at the moment and will be happy enough to get round in under two hours, delighted if I beat my best of 1 hour 53 mins 30 seconds (set in a painful training run), and ecstatic if I somehow manage to break 1 hour 50.
Maybe I should be a bit nervous about being too warm or cold but I’ve brought a little belt thing that my very lightweight running jacket will squash into. The fact that there are likely to be plenty of colleagues and pupils from work around the course (foolishly I’ve selected a HM starting and finishing just a few metres away) should maybe add some ‘pressure’ but to be quite honest I’m just happy to go and get on with it and not really bother about what anyone else thinks (or the abuse they might shout!).
I’ve heard that once you have completed a race for which you have been training there is a natural deflated feeling, a gap in your life, but no nerves here for me as I’ve already got plans to up my distance and have a crack at a marathon and maybe beyond.
What I think I’m really nervous about is the fact that I don’t actually know how I should feel. Should I be nervous at all? Or excited? Or terrified? Should I be tossing and turning for the pre-race nights, mulling over all the things that could go wrong, or even right? Should I be worried about every item of food I eat between now and race day in case the ingredients somehow affect my performance? (Actually, referring back to my previous post, yes I should worry about my diet affecting my run, although I won’t as it’s all my own doing.)
Maybe I should fear running in a big crowd, or even that they will be all so fast that this won’t be a problem for me. And perhaps I should worry about getting my race strategy all wrong, but then again I don’t really have one other than trying to keep up with a faster colleague and/or the virtual partner on my Garmin.
I suppose it could be the term ‘race’ that should get me nervous, although as I suspect I have little chance of an incredible sequence of events seeing me jog home in first place 40 plus minutes behind the course record, then I’m not letting that worry me either.
Damn it – I’m nervous because I’m not nervous!
I guess race day will reveal all – I have nothing to be nervous about now other than something unknown that I will realise I should have been worried about all along.
Or maybe I might just enjoy it.