Preparing for Race Weekend

I know, I know….Bluenose weekend is about two weeks away, what in the world am I doing thinking and preparing now?  Two weeks for our family is a lot of time – a lot will happen and need to be done.  Normal daily chores of laundry, dishes, work and everything else that happens daily between sun up and sun down, new spring projects like setting up my garden boxes, and of course all the unplanned fun and excitement that comes along.  So, why is the race weekend on my mind now?  (Wanna know a secret?  So is Maritime Race Weekend and that’s not until September!)

I’m not sure if other runners do this or if this is just my anxiety that requires me to plan ahead but I’m already there…at the start line while I fold laundry, meeting runners at the volunteering booth as I scroll through social media, finding the energy to climb THAT hill in Point Pleasant Park when I’m tired and frustrated but still have hours in the day, cheering on the 5 KM finishers as they reach their goals, and happily turning the corner just before the finish line.  My mind wanders to race weekend all day long.

The one thing that keeps swirling through my mind and has already caused a pre-race freak out (thanks to Michelle and Vanessa for talking me through it) is my pace and finish time.  I feel like I’m sitting on a swing at the playground when it comes to this topic going back and forth, back and forth.  I do this every time!

One day, I can’t wait to push myself and have a great fast (for me) race.  I’m not anywhere as fast as I was before the stress fracture last summer but the speed is coming back naturally with every training session.  I feel so strong after a run that still has tons of juice in the tank that could have been used to speed up a pace.  These days I’m flying forward on that swing!

The next day could be a totally different story.  I could be having a challenging day with my back or knee (I have scoliosis and an old ACL tear that was never repaired) and I start doubting the training and my own strength.  I am quickly reminded that just last summer I wore an annoying boot while recovering from an injury that I most likely caused by pushing too far too fast.  In those moments, I am swinging backwards and pulling away with fear.  Those days my race plan could very easily be a casual walk to the finish line.

I suppose that letting my mind spend some time on the swing set before race day is a good thing.  I have time to figure out the balance and where I will be on the pendulum when the guns are fired at the starting line.  I can figure out what a balance of courage, strength, and knowledge of my own bodies limits will look like for this race.

I ride this swing before every race.  At first the swing had long ropes and the ride was wild and high – back and forth.  The ropes have shortened with every race.  The ride not quite as wild but it’s still swinging.  Good luck to those around me who get to ride the swing with me, your support is necessary and appreciated.  Thank you!  13 big sleeps until the start line!

Happy Running!