September 18, 2014

Anything Can Happen on Race Day and Other Marathon Training Anxieties

Check out my latest post on the Women's Health Action Heroes blog where I talk about my tips for handling a busy summer taken from my experiences travelling a bunch these past few months!

Here we go for today's thinking out loud post. More thoughts about running the Chicago Marathon. Which is only 23 days away. 



How did it sneak up like this? 

I've got my 22-miler this weekend-the last really long run of training. Sadly I'll be travelling again for a couple more weddings. I'm trying to squeeze it in before I leave so it probably won't happen with my training group. Then again maybe it's better I just work it out and run 22 miles by my lonesome since I'll probably be running the race mostly alone. 

I'm already reaching the point of training where all my doubt and anxiety is quietly bubbling to the surface. 

I'm thinking that I didn't get my mileage as high as I wanted. I didn't follow my training plan strictly enough. I didn't push myself hard enough. The rational part of me knows that training is about all of those runs since June and hitting that long run mileage. 

This is the first time I'm actually flying somewhere before running a race as well. I'll be sure to take some Airborne and wear compression socks of course. The flight isn't that long, but it still causes some anxiety, especially since I've never been to Chicago. 

Another part of the marathon that is daunting is that anything can happen on race day. Even though I tapered right, stretched, and  foam-rolled last year, I still had really tight calves on race day for some odd reason.  You can do everything right, but sometimes your body has other plans in mind when you wake up that morning. Sometimes the weather or course conditions suck. Sometimes it just isn't your day. 


Then again, sometimes it is your day. Race day might be awesome. You can only train hard, recover, and do your best. 

Not everything will be in your control, but that's life isn't it?

So after this week it's STOP-taper time. Sorry to throw in a dated MC Hammer joke. 

While I don't feel ready for race day I feel really ready to taper. All of my summer travelling made my training a little disjointed this year but nonetheless exhausting. 18 weeks of training with early Saturday morning runs in the summer, group runs, sore muscles, and raging hunger is no joke.  

I'm ready to get back to strength training, not follow a training plan, and run when I want to. 
I'm ready to hang out on the couch after work before cooking a nice dinner.  I'm ready to spend my evenings foam rolling in front of the TV as I watch the Mindy Project or whatever other fall show is back.  I'm ready for some carb-loading (I'm looking at you, pizza). 

Do you get anxious at the end of training?  What's your favorite carb-filled food?


  1. I too get anxious at the end but just trust the training. You can do it. It's never going to be the same every time you train and you're right, race day will be something different.

    I love to carb up on greek food, pita bread included.

  2. Yeeeesssssss. I'm right there with you, sister. My 22 miler is this Saturday and then it's taper time! I'm worried I didn't run my training runs as fast as last year's, and I really wanted to PR. I'm already dreaming of sleeping in on Saturdays :D Good luck with your race!!

  3. You're gonna kill it. Especially with all the training you've done around here, the fact that Chicago has almost no elevation change is gonna feel amazing. You're more than prepared physically, just gotta tell the brain to shut up and deal!

  4. I totally get anxious before taper time... what if I didn't do enough? What if I get fat from tapering? What if I lose everything I built up the past 16+ weeks by not running much for a week? You're not alone!

  5. the MC Hammer joke was the best!! I have zero training tips, but am feeling mightly ready for a nap just reading about all your long runs. Carbs - doughnuts, obvs. And potatoes.

  6. Good luck on your 22 miler this weekend. Hopefully not running with your group isn't too bad! You are gonna rock the Chicago Marathon!

  7. You know all of these feelings are so totally normal, right?? And, if you're ready to taper then you're ready to race! Go get it!!!

  8. I'm in the taper right now before the Rock and Roll Philly Half Marathon. I'm a little bit anxious, but mostly excited as it's the first half I've done in nearly 2 years, thanks to injury. Enjoy the taper, know that you put the work in, and have an amazing time in Chicago! :)

  9. I'm pretty sure everyone gets anxious before a race -- it's natural when you've put so much time and effort into something! And no matter what happens on race day, you'll be coming out of this with a whole lot more experience and knowledge than you had going in, so that's always something to be thankful for. That being said, I'm sure you're going to kill it!

  10. This is my first training season! Cute post!

  11. Good luck on your 22 miler coming up this weekend. I have never been to Chicago but always wanted to visit. Don't forgot to stay hydrated during tour flight. -L

  12. I am training for my first marathon, but I've had plenty of anxiety already LOL. It's going to be a PARTY when we get to the end LOL! You're right - anything can happen on race day. Hang in there! You're going to do great!

  13. You did the work. Chicago is such an easy place to run a marathon. You will never be alone AND it is flat as a pancake. Key advice - start slow(er) and finish strong. I ran a PR here in '01 after just OK training. It was almost even splits - which for me is unheard of. Being nervous is normal, but don't forget to trust your training.

  14. I'm anxious about running my very first marathon on October 5th! Two weeks away! I'm hoping that all the stars will align for an amazing race day! I love baked potatoes, black beans with brown rice and fresh baked bread with olive oil!

  15. You ARE ready. The truth is, races and race day circumstances don't always go as planned. There are lots of things out of our control, but you can control the controllables and mentally prepare that no matter what happesn, you'll give your very best on October 12 and that is all you can ask for. Try to wipe out the self doubt and focus on the runs that went spectacular and the things that feel great. You've got this! Keep reminding yourself of that and get your positive mantras ready for race week. Good luck!!!