It's that time again. When my alarm goes off on May 7th I'll be in downtown Pittsburgh and it will be race morning. That's just 6 more sleeps. Well, definitely 5 more sleeps and likely 1 night of tossing and turning.
I never know what to expect on race morning; I'm a bundle of nerves and questions. What is the weather doing? Did I train enough? Did I eat right this week? Did I hydrate enough? Did I remember my Body Glide, Blister Shield and Tylenol Arthritis? Where's the coffee? Is my Garmin charged? What about my iPod?
When I was the the recent Arts & Science of Health Promotion Conference a facilitator asked if anyone in the room had ever experienced the "runner's high". I raised my hand, along with about 50% of the people in the room. We tend to be an active bunch. Then he asked when we experience it - and that's when I realized my answer was really it depends.
A few weeks ago I went out on a 10 mile run and never got there - something in my body just wasn't feeling it. I averaged over 11 minutes a mile; slower than even my worst marathon time. I couldn't get out of my own head. Side note: I realize I'm not elite runner but geez - that was a hard day for me!
Last week I went out for a 15 miler and I was hitting on all cylinders. My high came around the halfway point, which is about normal on longer training runs. Whether it's 8 miles or 15 miles, I fall into my rhythm around the halfway point - my confidence soars, my heart races a little faster (in a good way!) and I get a little pep in my step. "I can do this, and nothing can stop me" I think to myself.
On race morning, though, it's different. My high starts the moment the gun goes off. The beating heart, the questions and buzz in my brain, the knot in my stomach and the shaky legs - it's all in anticipation of the big event! All the training, all the anticipation comes to a head.
But then something amazing happens...I hear the pop of the gun, my legs start to move, my mind clears and I feel like I'm ready to conquer the world.
Other posts related to what I am doing this week:
Dairy, Soy & Gluten Free Race Week (PS: Last time I followed this plan I missed a PR by 2 minutes)
Steel City Greyhounds - #RunForAReason ($755 of $1,000 raised)