Wednesday, May 15, 2013

No More Wet T-Shirt Contests

I did my last longer run this past weekend (10 miles) before my ultimate long run of 26.2 miles in 4 days.  I read today in my “Running with the Mind of Meditation”  book (really good read by the way)that people say they don’t like running because they don’t like pain. Hmmm…guess that makes me a pain lover.

When I tell people I am doing a marathon and they say, “Oh, that’s like 26 miles, right?,” I often yell, “POINT TWO. Twenty six point two miles!” Somehow that point two is very significant, probably because I want credit for every stinking teeny bit of mileage that I run.

I had to laugh when my friend Clair told me that she was at her daughter’s school and her daughter proudly told a friend, “My mom has run 26.2 miles TWICE!” The friend then asked Clair, “Can I have your autograph?” Sure. Here you go little munchkin.

IMAG1515

So, my upcoming race feels like a crap shoot. Like I said in the last post, my energy’s been a bit lacking. Training went well up until a few weeks ago when I decided to race someone in boot camp (she didn’t know we were racing, but it was ON) and I pulled something. Serves me right. As time goes on and I get older and older, I am learning I should not do certain things anymore. These include but are not limited to:

  • Trying to show Emma how to do a front handspring
  • Trying to do a flip off the diving board
  • Trying to race someone in boot camp
  • Trying to have a shot of any alcohol
  • Trying to join in on a wet t-shirt contest (can’t say I’ve ever done this anyway, probably for the best).

Next thing you know I’ll be wearing black socks with sandals, giving money to PBS and debating pension plans.

I looked at my race course yesterday to find that it is fairly hilly. And not down-hilly. It should be illegal for marathon courses to have hills unless they are slanted down and not up. Also, the total distance is 26.35. That’s an ultra marathon if you ask me.

Maybe I’ll drop out and just lay around with Heidi, the smiling dog.

P1130815

I’m just being a baby and psyching myself out. I need to shut up and taper, then shut up some more and go run 26 POINT THREE FIVE miles on May 19.

As for self doubt? It needs to be banished, burned at the stake. Here’s how:

1. Say it out loud. It’s okay to be a bit vulnerable and to tell people you’re anxious and not overly confident. Chances are your friends and family see you more objectively than you see yourself and will tell you to shut up you will do just fine . Plus, it simply feels good to be honest and let it out. However, be careful to not turn your admission into a bitch and whine fest because no one wants to hear that. Today I told Sam I had to get up at 3:30 a.m. for my race and he said, “Oh, poor thing? But, did anyone force you do this marathon? I don’t think so.”

2. Look for the pattern. If you’re feeling self doubt in a situation,you’ve probably felt it before in this very situation. Every time I think back to tapering for a big race, I have a pattern. I panic, eat a lot, have phantom aches and pains, think I’m getting sick and question my physical ability to complete the race in the way I want to. But, within a couple of days of the race, anticipation and slight excitement starts to creep in and the doubt fades, somewhat. So, I’ve been here before and will probably be here again.

3. Make a plan. In my mind, nothing squashes self doubt more than being proactive. For me, learning about the marathon course, getting  my playlist together, knowing where the aid stations will be, driving the course  if possible,  and signing friends and family up for runner tracking (whether they wanted to be signed up or not – yes I can be bossy), has helped my anxiety a bit. I’ve always felt like my worst enemy is the unknown. The more you can familiarize yourself with a situation that is making you feel doubtful and anxious, the better off you’ll be.

4. Think about (and even embrace?) speed bumps. This kind of goes along with making a plan. If you mentally prepare for challenges that might come your way, you’ll be one step ahead of the game. I do this by checking the weather, bringing toilet paper for those unfortunate moments when bodily fluids make an appearance, testing out fueling/hydration beforehand and running in my race outfit to make sure nothing creeps into crevasses or rubs places raw.

buttpicture

I will not be wearing this (seen at the Boston Marathon 2011)

I haven't mentioned my goals for this race. On purpose. I’m being chicken and fearing I won’t get what I want. Hint: while a PR is always good, this is not my goal for this race.

What can you not (or should not) do anymore since you’re getting older? Oh, here’s another one. I can never trust a fart.

Do you think everyone has self doubt before races? I know I always do. And it usually goes much better than I expect. Usually.

Best running book you’ve read lately? See above.

SUAR

48 comments:

  1. At 53 years old, I don't trust mine (farts) any more either.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Almost 60 and I still do everything I did at earlier ages...but I have mastered some yoga poses I could never do before-and still running, and still swimming and still hiking and cycling (picked up mtn. biking at age 50 and now I love it more than road biking). Swimming more open water races (Calif races such as Pier to Pier two miler and from Alcatraz every year. So no-not changing a thing-even ramping it up a bit. Doing my 7th half IM in Oct and third IM next year if I can get in- racing my 115th tri next month and planning a rim to rim next October. No self doubt here...and read the Bowerman Story...about how it all began in Oregon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just turned 50, and I'm still running and biking as always. I have upped my yoga too, as that seems to really help keep me limber. There is hardly any info for "aging" athletes, and I love hearing stories like yours.

      Delete
    2. Love it! It's athletes like you that made me shoot to run a half in every state. I figure, it will take me awhile, and I will age through the process, next year I'll be the big 50! I'm so looking forward to the age bracket change! :D

      Delete
    3. Towards 'thelongrun'; you are living life just the way one should! I don't have the opportunity to do as much swimming as I would like, I've only done a few triathlons, but I would like to get back to doing them and work up to at least half IM distances. But, mostly I agree that the age # is just that, a number. Don't stop being young just because of a number.

      Delete
    4. Thanks Tram, HalfCrazed and PediNP....
      I am still working (prechool speech/lang. therapist for 60 special needs kiddos) so I am not "yet" living the life I want to live...that will come in a couple of years when I truly retire! :-)

      Delete
  3. Oh my, I thought that was an actual exposed bum with like, the running short version of chaps.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What in the world is going on in the pic above? Is that toilet papar or something else? I'm slightly horrified.

    Anyway, as I've said before, at 46 and after 6 children I can no longer hold my pee during 75+ degree temps. I've given up. It doesn't matter anyway, since my sweat smells way worse than urine. What's up with that???

    I just ordered McMillan's new "You, Only Faster" book and am so excited! I don't even know why, since I have bee fairly content with "Run Less, Run Faster". I guess I'm just looking forward to some new ideas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In the pic above, it's some crazy plastic butt. Can you imagine running with that for 26.2 miles? Yes, that is TP.

      Delete
  5. Love your honesty. Also, Heidi is a beautiful, beautiful dog. Also, I am terrified of that plastic butt. I would not want to run behind it.

    Hope your marathon exceeds your expectations! Running 26.35 miles is a major accomplishment, no matter how it goes!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I haven't read a running book in awhile but I have 2 on my shelf that I was supposed to review (whoops).

    Your marathon is SOOO soon! I completely understand that fear of sharing your goal. I had a secret one for Boston and didn't even come close.

    You will be fantastic! May the wind be at your back...in every direction. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I totally "Point ONE!"'d someone the other day. In my first ever half marathon, that .1 was the hardest part!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I just told someone today that I can hardly wait for my upcoming race (May 26) because I am a huge bundle of nerves and I just want to run the race already! I think everyone has self-doubt and some just handle it better than others. The fears simply mean we have trained hard and invested a lot of energy and hope into the race and want it to go as well as possible. I hope you have a great race!

    I enjoyed reading through your Colorado Marathon recap -- I am following in your footsteps and trying to BQ with a PR of 17+ minutes for my second marathon. Big dream, not sure I can hit it (not sure at all) but so what, I am going for it!

    I am currently reading Running on Air and enjoying it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. That book looks really interesting... I'll have to put it on my list!

    Yes, I get super anxious before a race, and it usually peaks about 3-4 days before. Then I do all of the things you do (research, plan, visualize) and by race time, I'm fairly mellow. The couple of times I haven't felt anxious/some self doubt were my worst races. I think I was over confident.

    Good luck at your marathon!!! And yes, anything over 26.2 is an ultra!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I can't do jumping jacks (or any jumping actually) without slightly peeing myself - so not cool!! Especially since I still do all the jumping!!
    You have done the hard part - you will be great on Sunday!!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Good luck on your run! I'm sure you'll do great!

    I know how it is, getting old. Next thing I know I'm going to need a "I've fallen and I can't get up" button. I pulled a muscle climbing into an ambulance (for my job)!!
    I shouldn't jump rope. It just feels wrong at my age. My TRX instructor is sure we should do it and I do not concur.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Nerves are good. Self doubt - don't get psyched out. You are a powerful and fast runner. I'm faster than I used to be but still ... your race results are bit faster :)
    My last A race was a half. I wrote my game plan on my right wrist (I'm left handed) and wrote "courage" on my hand - courage to run the race I knew I could. Had a friend write "focus" on my left hand so I could see that every time I looked at my Garmin. 3 1/2 min PR, thank you very much.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks for sharing your info. I truly appreciate your efforts and
    I will be waiting for your further write ups thanks once again.


    my web-site - Gucci Sito Ufficiale

    ReplyDelete
  14. My daughter and the other cool teenage basketball players wear black socks with their slides. The socks, of course, must be Nike Elites...however, I think they look like old men. So, beware, you might be cool without even knowing it.

    Good luck in your full!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Seriously good tips. For me, self doubt is the worst part of taper madness, especially if I've been training for a PR. I totally agree with not going shots as you get older and I try to avoid them at all costs. Also, wearing short shorts, especially if I'm not running (they just look tacky once you're above a certain age, IMO), *not* wearing sunscreen (it's a must!), and purses with animal fur and/or cartoons printed on them. Good luck at the marathon; I'm sure you'll rock it, despite the hills. :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. I am running the Colfax Urban 10 Miler on Sunday...the longest race I've run yet, but not the farthest distance. After almost 9 months of running injuries, I am nervous about getting through this race without re-injuring or making a healing injury worse. Also, I live in the South and have never run at that altitude before. So I have no idea what to expect on Sunday.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Do you wear a running belt, pack or something for essentials? If so, what do you wear?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I train I wear a Nathan fuel belt with 2-10oz bottles and a pocket for my phone, gels, etc. During races I go naked - no belt - I carry gels in my pockets, don't carry a phone and rely on water/sports drink at the aid stations. Just hate running races wtih the extra stuff. I did buy a Spi Belt as well and know that a lot of people use them during races b/c they're not bulky. I've haven't used mine, however.

      Delete
  18. Ahahahahahahaha! Never trust your farts. I absolutely love it. I often fear my post run peel off of clothes for the same reason. Tmi I'm sure.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Awww....quit yer griping and thinkin' and feelin' and such.

    SHUT UP AND RUN.

    Any day you can run a marathon is a GREAT DAY!

    8)

    ReplyDelete
  20. have a great race! i'm running my second 26.2 the following week.... and definitely am playing the self doubt game, eating a lot, questioning, noticing every twinge, ache, in my body..... i need to shut up and taper too!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I sure do admire your spirit! I notice a trapeze does not make your list of things not to do.

    I find the list of what I won't do isn't the problem, it's the precautions I have to take before doing the things I want to do. I haven't read a running book lately. Maybe it's time.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Good checklist and advice. It's always comforting to know everyone has at least a little bit of the jitters before their big race. GOOD LUCK Beth!!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I saw the Boston Marathon mugs from several years ago read something to the effect of "Beecause 26.3 would be ridiculous!"
    I think the .2 is a necessity. Those are the hardest tenths.
    Amy P. Philly runner.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Just ran Big Sur marathon a few weeks ago and felt I was in some of the best shape ever going into it but still had self doubt because I knew it was a really hard course (hills, hills, and more hills and then wind on top of that). But ultimately I ended up running it quite well as I am sure you will also.

    Good luck this weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Good luck this Sunday! I'm sure you'll do fine, you're just having those taper freak-outs. And it's gonna be a perfect day to run! As for goals, we always have the public goal (the one you're pretty confident you can hit and so you share it with family and friends), the secret goal (what you'd be okay with), and the super-secret goal (what would actually make you happy).

    ReplyDelete
  26. As a friend told me, get the F out of your head and just run! Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Good luck with the race!
    Tapers make everyone insane, clearly. You'll be fine because, after all, you are your own worst enemy.
    Since I got old, I can't run off my hangovers any more. I just feel sick. So. The wine has to happen after the run, not before.

    ReplyDelete
  28. You'll do fantastic. I hear you about nerves and self-doubt. However, you're clearly aware of them and know how to deal with them and come race day all will go as best you can do.
    I just did the Colorado Marathon (specifically because it was mostly downhill)and got a BQ time by almost 5 minutes and a PR of almost 35 minutes. It was my second marathon. My first was 17 years ago. I feel much more mature, physically and emotionally at 45 and it obviously made a difference in the race results. My kids and husband were not sympathetic to my hobbling the next few days and I heard several comments about how I had chosen to run that long :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Heading to Denver tomorrow for the Colfax 1/2. It will be my first. I feel like I am ready, but have no idea what to expect. In addition to being my first 1/2, it is also my first big race with so many people. I am planning to check out the course on Saturday, carry only some fuel and that's about it. It looks like it will be relatively cool so that is good. I'm bringing flip-flops and shorts to change into and some "throw away" clothes for before the start. What else should I be thinking about?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds good! Definitely throw away clothes since it will be in the mid 40s while we are hanging out waiting to start. The half looks like a great course -my husband is running that one too. I'll be the expo Saturday, look for me - I'll have an Ambassador shirt on.

      Delete
    2. I'll look for you at the Expo. Thanks for your help!

      Delete
  30. Good luck! You have trained hard - stay positive - be you, and be great!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Good luck in your race! I am doubting a little for my half this weekend. I mean, I know I can make it to the finish line, but not sure I will meet my goals. Let's think positively, and hopefully we will both do awesome!

    Love how Heidi always is smiling.

    ReplyDelete
  32. It's actually very difficult in this active life to listen news on Television, so I only use web for that reason, and get the hottest information.

    my web page; プラダアウトレット

    ReplyDelete
  33. Best of luck to you this weekend Beth! He'll yes....my nerves get me no matter what.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Good luck Beth. Yes, I think its very normal to feel very anxious and have self doubts. I, too, seldom reveal any particular goal. Most races, my goal is just to finish and remain vertical! Try to relax, hug your family, kiss the dog, and start the race with your head up. Think about all of those who either can't do this or won't.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Ok, I can't even comment because all I have in my head now is that butt running.. LOL!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  36. I found out the hard way that I can no longer use the Slip 'N Slide. I tried to demonstrate how fun it can be for my skeptical daughters a few summers ago, and nearly eviscerated myself. I guess I should have paid closer attention to the "Age 12 and Under" label on the package.

    I recently read A Race Like No Other about the New York Marathon and found it so inspiring! First Marathon Stories was also entertaining and motivating for me (as a hopeful first time marathoner this fall).

    Best of luck this weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I had been searching for some updates in mens apparel since past week and this post really contains the elements which increase my knowledge about T shirts.It's good.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Inspiring quest there. What happened after? Thanks!


    Feel free to visit my homepage ... local business directory.

    ReplyDelete
  39. We are a gaggle of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community.
    Your site provided us with helpful info to work on. You have performed an impressive task and our
    entire community will probably be thankful to you.

    Feel free to visit my web-site ... movie forums rapidshare

    ReplyDelete