Friday, May 13, 2016

Race Day Anticipation

My last post was about Tapering for my race this Sunday. That's less than two days before I'm on the starting line for the Run for the Red marathon in the Poconos! But truth be told, I'm terrible at tapering.

This past weekend, I ran about 16 miles between Saturday and Sunday, including a leg smashing 5K on Mother's Day. Then I bicycled 20 miles with Geoffrey on Monday. Yesterday I ran just 4 easy miles. I should have felt light and airy, my legs suffused with energy. Instead I felt totally exhausted, as if I'd already run a marathon.

Part of the problem is that I've been eating very little this week, "saving up" calories for this weekend.That's because even though I'm running a freakin' marathon - one where I hope to qualify for the Boston Marathon - I still can't get out of the calorie counting head space. But I made up for it by eating about a gallon of ice cream last night, and several gallons of wine. And today I'm going to gorge myself on carbs like an asteroid is about to hit the earth.

"We're all about to die? Sh*t, that means
I can finally eat whatever I want!"

But that's not really the point of this post. Most of the above is just me complaining about how stupid I am.

In addition to suffering through "taper madness", us runners also have to suffer "race day anticipation." This is a yo-yo affect where one minute you think, "I'm going to annihilate this race! I bet I can get under 3 hours! I'm amazing!" And then the next minute thinking, "ugh, I'm going to completely bonk out. I'd be lucky to finish the race in five hours. They'll be scraping my bloated carcass off the pavement, dodging the buzzards that circle above."

I can't gauge how I'll do by how I feel. Because how I feel oscillates faster than a frog on a trampoline. I struggled with an analogy there and that's the best I could come up with. Apparently my writing oscillates too. Like a frog on a...


Anticipation is the worst. And it's not like it changes how I'll run. Either I'll run fast and beat my goal, or I'll trip over a fire hydrant and become famous on Youtube as "guy in kilt misses Boston qualifying time by one second due to hydrant mishap." I'd watch that video.

But I can't help the nerves. There's some evolutionary reason for them. It pumps endorphins into your system so you can fight off a wooly mammoth or something. But you can't exactly stay high on endorphins for a week straight. That's like drinking coffee nonstop every waking minute every day.

Which, I mean, I do. It doesn't help the situation.

This is just from this morning.
Also I'm very wasteful.

I try not to think too much about the race. I try not to think about getting up before 5am and going to the bathroom four times in a row. I try not to think about eating precisely one banana. I try not to think about making sure my watch is fully charged. I try not to think about putting on the exact right clothes for the weather, double knotting my shoes, and checking about 20 times that I didn't forget a sock.

I try not to think about getting to the race around 6am so I have plenty of time to bounce around with a thousand other people and hit the port-o-potties a couple more times. I try not to think about shivering in the cold but resisting putting on more clothes because then I'd be too hot when I run. I try not to think about going up to the start line, realizing I still have half an hour to wait, and then milling around, and repeating that about a dozen times. I try not to think about finding precisely the right starting place within the crowd as 7am finally approaches. I try not to think about that air horn being raised in the air.....

Aaaah, see? I totally failed. Now my heart's palpitating like I just smoked ten cigars.

Also doesn't help calm my nerves.

Normally I'd deal with the anticipation by drinking. But I haven't drunk much this week. Mostly I've been lying in bed thinking, "I'm definitely an alcoholic." I guess I don't go halfway on anything. I either drink too much, or not at all. I either eat too much, or not at all. I either run too much.... Well I haven't gotten to not running yet. But that will be a glorious and beautiful time of my life. No doubt.

But that won't happen until at least after my marathon Sunday. Eek!

You won't have to suffer much anticipation though. I plan on writing about about the race afterwards (probably drunk). And if you don't see my post pop up.... Well then look for me on Youtube.

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