It’s 8.30am on Saturday. I’ve been awake for 2 hours thanks to my dog! I’ve had my pre-race peanut butter bagel and the mild nerves settle in…This is a regular weekend wake up scenario in my life now and I wanted to share a little bit about the nerves and what it means to me…
Every race is a similar feeling for me now. I always look forward to tackling a new course and challenge, I get mild nerves, but good nerves, I prepare my kit the night before and I am up early to give myself time to eat and digest a meal before my run.
Why am I nervous? Today is a fell run in Cressbrook. I’m guessing there will be roughly 200 runners…or somewhere in that region. I am not competing in a league, I only represent myself and nobody I know will be watching me. So why do I have these nerves?
Running means something to me. In fact, it means the world to me. Every race is a great collection of dedicated individuals who create a warm, buzzing atmosphere at every different location and that buzz adds the extra element to the day for me. It’s what makes the difference between a midweek hill rep session and a race.
Running in the week for my training is where I have zero nerves and I am in my comfort zone surrounded by friends and people I recognise. I know what’s what in these surroundings. Race day is different…I compete rather than just run. The majority of people I see on the day are strangers to me. I have no idea what running capabilities everyone has and I usually have little to no knowledge about the actual race I am about to undertake. I enjoy race day surprises!
This whole mystery to the day adds an excitement, a few nerves, but overall it is what drives me not only to compete each week but to train hard in between and to look after myself. It’s all connected. It’s a lifestyle, plain and simple.
I absolutely love it!
And now it’s time to put my kit on, drive to Cressbrook and run today’s fell race. With roughly 1300ft of inclines, I feel those nerves…I can already imagine the pain I’m going to endure in my legs… I cannot bloody wait!! Ha.
Race day nerves… I’m sure that most of us get them, but don’t see them as a negative. Nerves are your preparation technique for a difficult task ahead. You won’t find many situations that are of great importance in your life where you don’t get nerves. Most importantly, all amazing achievements began with some nerves…an element of doubt. So embrace them! When you get them be sure to remind yourself that something special could be happening very soon. People who don’t get nervous are probably having a much less fun day than you are. You legend! Go and smash it!