Whether it be the weather, something we ate (or didn't) in the week before the race. lack of sleep. rogue shoelaces. seeing someone we love on the course. seeing someone we hate on the course. a broken ipod. a broken garmin. broken sunglasses. a random spot of chafing that never appeared on any of the training runs. pain in your toe. pain in your knee. pain in your stomach. the wrong flavor gu? mystery drink that is not the gatorade promised. Is there a pinecone in my shoe? There are too many people. Why aren't there any people? I'm going too fast. I'm going too slow. I am going the perfect speed yet still I'm filled with anxiety. Is that a rain cloud? Did someone just spit on me?? The mile markers are off. Did i leave the stove on? No seriously, is it on??? RENT! I forgot to pay rent in all my marathon anxiety! My toenail has fallen off. i just know it. I can feel it. Where are my friends? They said they would be at mile 15! or was it 17? WTF did the pace leader go?? WHO SMELLS? why did i wear this - what was i thinking?? All i want is ice. This-is-the-longest-six-miles-i-have-ever-run. everyone is staring at me because i am going so slow. Why am i sweating so more than everyone else? I want to take my shoes off SO BAD! Cotton socks were a bad choice. Don't die. Don't die. Don't die.
Yeah, there are a lot of variables. As an anxiety sufferer, the race day for me is really hard - much harder than all the training miles. It is especially hard for me to prepare myself for Chicago, as their will be approximately 44,500 more people than my other two marathons. Combined. I tend to panic in crowds. But, the best way for me to calm my nerves is to HAVE A MULTI-FACETED PLAN.
If there isn't water? Don't you leave it up to fate. Bring your own. Remember Rockford.
If it's hot? no compression socks. salt pills. Start at a 10:40 pace.
If it's cold? Arm warmers. Don't over dress, you always over dress.
If it rains? Screw you bitches, because i am having a great race. I love rain.
If i fall? Get back up. But go ahead and be dramatic about it.
If my calf is sore? Slow down, take it easy
If my calf pain becomes sharp? Stop race. Cannot risk missing Dublin.
If someone holds out hand? High five it. High fives are awesome.
I think i am ready. I am also reminding myself that this is technically a training run for another race. And either way, i am not that fast of a runner anyway, i will always be in the middle of the party pack. It's how i roll.
Goal A: Stars align. Run a steady pace with the 4:30 group. Lots of smiles. It's a party.
Goal B: Finish under 5 hours. Keep whining to a minimum.
Goal C: It's my party, and i'll cry if i want to.
What's your game plan for the marathon?