Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Freud Is My Home Boy

It seems a bit early for race anxiety to set in, but set in it has. This time, I'm determined to keep it in perspective - to see it for what it is: Anxiety is a good sign. It's an early warning mechanism to produce fight or flight. It makes people prepare and perform at their highest level.

I actually thought I might get over these pre-race jitters as I became more experienced with the marathon. Ha! I was reminded by reading Matt's post this morning that pre-race anxiety will never end- nor do I want it to. (Thanks, Matt). It's an invaluable part of the process of learning to master our doubts and fears- to face our innermost selves.

When the gun goes off, no matter how many times you've raced, you take a step into the unknown. All you are expected to do is your best, and that is exactly why it is so intimidating. The pain of doing your honest best is intimidating - you will have to push yourself to your very utmost limit. Facing the possibility that your honest best on race day may not be what you hoped for, after all the work, is intimidating as well.

We all have anxiety and fear, hope and faith that what we have done is enough. That we are, in fact, strong enough to face our inner most selves.

To be continued...


  1. Well, you know I'm not one to not have race anxiety...I actually think that pre-race jitters are a way of paying honor to the race it so well deserves. It is painful to run a marathon - or any race for that matter (I think sometimes a 5K is harder on a marathon, it HURTS to suck your lungs out for 3 solid miles!) and it's the fear of how much it will hurt and when that hurt will come that makes us jittery for weeks on end, questioning everything we've done so we can mitigate that pain. Plus, we always want to do our best and what if we fail our own expectations?? Failure is hard to swallow, but it's part of the process, it makes us stronger, it makes us fight harder! Welcome to the taper club of fears and worry - it's a GOOD place to be!!! :)

  2. Hey, thanks for visiting my blog and commenting. Always nice to "meet" new people.

    I consider it a good thing, shows us that the races actually mean something to us. I mean, if you didn't care you probably wouldn't get nervous. That said, doing so many marathons recently has done a lot to calm my nerves. I know what to expect. Still have a healthy respect for the marathon, just not as much intimidation.

  3. Great post!! I love this mindset :)

  4. Use the fear. Learn to control it and use it to your advantage to push yourself further and faster than you have ever gone before..... and then tell me how to do all of that.

  5. Um, yeah. Anxiety. I hate it. But isn't it funny how when the gun goes off the anxiety simply vanishes? (Or at least mine does.) One minute I am all stressed and tight, then the gun goes off and I am instantly loose and running.