Hi Runners, Walkers, Readers and Supporters … this is a post from Ed …
So, the Whistler Half is on Saturday. I often get this feeling near races like there’s a freight train coming down on me; no matter what I do, the race morning’s going to come, and there is no way I’m going to feel like I’m ready. It feels like I haven’t done enough training; it feels like the training I have done hasn’t been the right training; and it feels like every missed workout would have been the critical workout. I hear the same kind of sentiment all the time from runners of all levels: “yeah, I’m not really ready…”
Oddly, I get the same feeling when I travel somewhere, particularly by plane. Beforehand, I’m trying to pack, to finish up work, to make sure all the loose ends are tied up. It’s always a panic, and there’s always the sneaking suspicion that there’s something I’ve forgotten, and inevitably, when I unpack, I’ve forgotten to bring dental floss or spare socks (more dire).
Over the years, I’ve come to accept a few things. First: that this feeling is unavoidable. It doesn’t matter what I’ve done or how I plan, I’m always going to feel that something’s missing. Second: that it goes away in an instant. That’s the instant that the plane pulls away from the gate, or the instant that the gun goes. It’s the moment that “advance planning” is completely done, and that the now is all that matters. At that moment, my teeth aren’t going to forgive me, but I can take action and go ahead and buy some more floss (or borrow it from my parents like a good 20-something does if I’m headed home). At that moment, I can’t ask the clock to wait for me: all I can do is run hard, run smart (or try to), make things go as best as I can, and let the result take care of itself.
I guess what I’m saying is: advanced planning is great. Train right, taper right, have the right pre-race dinner and the right pre-race breakfast. But when the gun goes, don’t remind yourself of the cookies you had after dinner or the hill workout you couldn’t make it to. Just have fun, and do what you can with what you have right then, and things will go well.
See you on the start line!