Race week is supposed to be a relaxing time where you can run nice ‘n easy, indulge in your carb addiction without remorse, and reflect on all of the hard training you’ve tackled over the past several months. You’re also supposed to only wear white after Memorial Day, but we’ve all seen a Marin housewife sporting white pants in mid-October (oh, the humanity!). I’ve been tapering + racing for nearly two decades, and I still have yet to crack the nut on how to properly approach the taper. But today is not about how to avoid the pre-race nerves, guilty pleasures, and stresses we all face. Today is about embracing the taper in all its glory and realizing that the week before the gun goes off does NOT need to be perfect in order to have a perfect race day.
As I lie here awake restless 24 hours out from the biggest race of my season to-date (Lake Sonoma 50, baby!), I reflect on these last few days…
#1 YOU EAT FOR TWO.
I’m running less mileage–why not double-down on my caloric intake? (directly conflicts with my racing advice)
#2 YOU FEEL TERRIBLE RUNNING.
I’m resting more and running less–it makes complete sense that my legs feel like bricks.
#3 YOU FEEL TERRIBLE WHEN YOU’RE NOT RUNNING.
I’ve avoided sniffling friends and boosted my Emergen-C intake to 8 daily doses, and yet a growing fear lingers. Is this the flu? Or allergies? Def-initely allergies.
#4 YOUR HEAD ACHES.
Maybe giving up coffee two days out from the race wasn’t the best idea after all. But I read it on a blog so it has to help, right?
#5 YOU FORGET HOW TO SLEEP.
I have athletes to stalk and social media feeds to aggressively refresh with all of this idle time. How could I possibly fall asleep?
#6 YOU EAT FOR THREE.
Because eating for two is never enough.
#7 YOU STRESS ABOUT YOUR RACE-DAY OUTFIT.
If my singlet doesn’t match my shoes, if I don’t wear a fresh new pair of Stance socks…what’s the point?
#8 YOU ARE CRANKY TO EVERYONE.
Loved ones be damned. It’s YOUR race week after all.
#9 YOU DOUBT YOURSELF.
I could’ve trained harder. I should’ve lost more weight. Why didn’t I do more core?
#10 YOU REALIZE IT’S GOING TO BE OK.
You’ve done this 1000 times before. Take a deep breathe and remind yourself of why you’re doing it. And somehow, someway you’re going to make it to race morning. AND CRUSH IT.
To everyone going through the pre-race jitters–GOOD LUCK THIS WEEKEND!
Also published on Medium.