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Worry Dolls

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

To ease stress, Mexican children often employ Worry Dolls, putting them under their pillow at night and waking up to see the dolls have gone, carrying the worries with them. Well I don't have dolls but I do have a blog so I will lay out my fears about my upcoming half marathon here and maybe that will be enough to get them off my mind, at least for a little while.

I have heard it said that training is 90% physical and 10% mental, but that race day is the exact opposite. My legs, heart and lungs have proven that they can withstand 12 miles of pavement, so I am not too concerned about adding 1.1 miles more. My left brain, however, is waging war, and my pre-race jitters have begun. Here they are, in no particular order:

1) I DON'T KNOW THE COURSE - Knowing the route is like, number one in race preparation. What can I do? Not much. Go with the flow, literally. Follow the pack and hope it's well marked in case I end up alone. I believe it will be. I can study the elevation map to know when to expect hills, and I can carry street directions in my fuel belt. It is what it is.

2) WAS IT 11 MILES OR 12?? - My Nike+ iPod may or may not have dropped up to a mile during my training, something I didn't find out until I had completed my 11 mile run. So when I did the 12 mile, was it accurate? Am I really adding only 1.1 miles or is there a chance it will be 2.1? Not much I can do about this one either. And it doesn't really matter, because the course I am running WILL BE 13.1, whether my software says so or not.

3) TROT TROT TO BOSTON - or Worcester, close enough... What can I say about my fear of runners trots? I am so seriously freaked out about this that I have actually taken Immodium before a 5k, and I carry wet-wipes in my fuel belt because I read they are good to have "just in case". This is another time when knowing the route would be really helpful, as I would know where port-o-pottys would be. Meh.

4) HILLS - According to the elevation charts there are 3 good size hills. Why oh why didn't I train for hills?

5) TIME - My pace is so consistent that my Nike charts read like a flat line. I could literally say to Vida, " I'm running 7 miles, be back in 77 minutes" and I would be. Exactly. I felt confident that during the race I could give my family a time frame within 15 minutes to look for me at the finish. But if my mileage isn't right (see #2 above) then my time is wrong also. I am worried that my family will be bored, impatient, etc. if they have to wait longer than I tell them. Here's another one I have to kiss up to heaven because I can't run any faster than I do without jeopardizing my chances of finishing. I think I will give them a wide time estimate and make sure Luke's DS has a full charge. What more can I do?

My first half-marathon is 5 days away. I am scared and excited and exhilirated and doubtful and hopeful. The leg fracture, physical therapy, 200 training miles! The days it was so cold my fingers froze, running in the heat, running in the rain, leg cramps, side cramps, all the pride, all the pain - everything has been leading up to this moment and I want to savor it for a long time. So there you go Worry Dolls, when I lay me down to sleep tonight you can lace up your little running shoes and run your asses back to Mexico and take my worries with you!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I've never head of these dolls before. I thought the name was quite sad, but it's a good idea.

    1. Is the area on GoogleMaps? Then you could look around the hills and stuff? To be honest, I prefer the unknown. I dread what's coming and start to panic, but if I'm thrown right in then the time passes easier. You'd probably be worrying about the course if you DID have it because you're just jittery right now.

    2. Let it go. Even if it was 11 miles, you're not going to just stop/suddenly get too tired to finish the marathon because you have another 1-2 miles. You'll probably have that buzz to get you to the finish line no matter what. If you've done 11 miles then another two is more than doable for someone at your level.

    3. I don't know what Trots are. Try to clear your digestion system before the race with lots of fibre. Make sure that your body is well hydrated. Before the race just ask others where the toilets are. Someone has to know. If worse comes to worst, you'll have to do a Paula Radcliffe: stop wherever you are and do whatever you need to do.

    4. Read some runners' tips about how to tackle hills. On my bike I usually just slow down and keep my eyes off the peak because it never seems to get any closer. Maybe you could try the same tactic: slow down, sing songs, say motivational things, think of your family, etc until you reach the top.

    5. Obviously you know your family better than I do, but I don't see why they'd be bored. If my loved one was running and fifteen minutes had passed, I'd be WORRIED not bored. I'm sure they're proud of you! Give them a wide timeframe and things should be fine. Then they can get their cameras ready and chill out until you arrive.

    At the end of the day, it's your FIRST marathon. Years ago you crawled/walked for the first time, probably fell down a bit, but got back and continued trying. Now you're running for miles. If things don't go according to plan, who cares? You're still one of the few who can say that they ran a marathon! Taking part is what counts. I'd print of the last paragraph you've written and take it with me to the race. Then when you want to stop and give up, think of the training and dedication.

    Remember to post the finish line photos for us to see! emoticon
    2721 days ago
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