On Wednesday night I had my first dream about the Philadelphia Marathon. I say my first because I’m sure there will be many more to come. I mean, it’s still 12+ weeks away so I was a little surprised that I had one so soon.
I was always one to have dreams about going back to school and I still have dreams about work when I have something important coming up. You remember the back to school dreams? Being late for class, forgetting your books/homework, wearing something ridiculous? The pre-race dreams are similar in that everything that could possibly go wrong does plus some other ridiculous stuff usually happens.
Like in my recent dream I was super late for the race (like I showed up to the start like 15 minutes after the gun went off) and still insisted on finding a bathroom before starting the race. Plus my watch wouldn’t work (although that is pretty realistic) and it was pouring rain. Since I started so late I didn’t know where I was going so I kept getting lost and then they decided to “postpone” the race due to the weather- yeah cause that might ever happen. I also remember that stairs were involved. I really hope I never encounter a marathon that involves climbing stairs.
no stairs from what I can see- just a couple of hills
In thinking back to the actual marathons I have done, I never got too nervous in the days leading up to the race. I was probably the most nervous before my first marathon which was Philly in 2011, just because I had never done that distance before. But I had a perfect training cycle, no injuries, and had completed three 20 miles so I was pretty confident about completing the race. The other 3 marathons involved some kind of injury-related “excuse”. I’m not quoting them to say that they weren’t valid-but they weren’t bad enough to prevent me from running- just annoying enough to make me feel like I couldn’t give it 100% and it was a good enough reason to accept not reaching my goals.
The other day Nicole wrote about her experience training for her next marathon, giving her training 100% and feeling ready and confident. I commented about how I hope that I can continue to carry the confidence I have right now throughout my training and into the race. I don’t want to feel like I have a reason to hold back.
I think that the pre-race nerves I start to feel about races contributes to my lack of confidence, and then instead of facing my anxiety head on, I allow it to take over and back away from my goals. Since the completion of a marathon is quite an accomplishment in itself, I always came out of those races with some pride. But I think in the back of my mind I knew I could have done better, and I settled and played it safe. This time, I hope to push myself, face the anxiety, and gain the confidence to do more than just finish- but to really race. So far my workouts have been right on track, and I know there is a still a long way to go, but I’m moving in the right direction.
How do you deal with pre-race nerves and self-doubt?
Ever have anxious dreams leading up to a race?