Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Marathon Week Anxiety, Phobias and Superstition

Yesterday as I was switching from my Birkie sandals that I wear around the house to my winter Birks** my socks slipped on our flat bamboo floors, and my leg got a bit out of whack. I yelped and panicked. I then rubbed my knee for the next hour or so. Why all the worry? It's marathon week, and I'm a big ball of fuss.

Of course, today my leg is fine. It does highlight my feelings during marathon week. I worry. Unlike the weeks of my largest long runs where I finished my runs, took a shower, ate something and then went to work within an hour, I become a porcelain doll in my mind this week. This week, I am overly careful. Yes, this weekend is a culmination of four months or so of preparation, but all my fears of last minute injury and my fear of not being able to finish rise to the surface. Running and non-running injuries take people out during training regularly. I get that. As we come down to the wire, I'm waiting for the shoe to drop, or the leg to sprain, or something.

I am not a stranger to anxiety. I wish I was, but alas, I have big and little panic attacks. I am thankful for the friends I can call or text when anxiety hits who listen to me, encourage me and don't judge me (or at least don't tell me about it). I've had big attacks too that normally come at night, and I am thankful for a husband that is willing to listen to me, pray for me and hold me in the middle of the night. The big ones aren't frequent, but they do really really suck.

Last year before the Milwaukee Marathon, I had trouble sleeping. That's not unusual for runners. I woke my husband up panicked and scared about the race, being able to finish, blah, blah, blah. He answered, "Then don't keep signing up for them." He's so perfect for me. I laughed and went right to sleep. That race is my PR.

I'm also worried about what to wear. The weather has changed, and it's going to be cold. I'm not sure how many layers, which hat, which gloves, or which pants. Really, it's stuff I wouldn't be so concerned about it was a regular weekend long run, but since it's race day it's worth fussing about.

Like many runners, I am a creature of habit. I know what we will be eating the day before the race - Thai peanut chicken curry with rice and broccoli. Non dairy, gluten free. I know what I'll be eating for breakfast - Market Pantry fudge graham protein bars. The knock-off zone bar is better than the Zone Bar. Honest. It gets a bit superstitious. I understand the importance of sticking to what works, but I also know I've run on nachos for my practice runs. The nachos may have given me an extra boost.

Anyway, there are 5 days to race day. I hope not to get injured in that time, but if it happens it's out of my control. I'm #591 if you want to track me. I'm blaming my anxiety on the taper weeks. With all this extra energy, I'm spending it on fussing. I'm glad I have a big race coming up to burn it all off.

I'll look a lot like this this weekend - cart not included.

** My feet are flat like skillets. Birks keep the PF away. I really only wear Birks and running shoes. I even got married in white Birks. Comfort before fashion.


  1. You WILL NOT get injured! Have a great race! I'll be stalking.

  2. Ignore the taper madness! :) Good luck in your marathon!

  3. You got this!!! I am so excited to see you Sunday! It's going to be a great race.

    It's so important to have people in your life that understand and accept your anxiety, if you have it. I surely do, and not many can deal.

    Hmm, is there actually running tracking? Someone was asking me and I said no. Ha! Guess I should have looked first!

  4. I love you!

    You are going to be great on Sunday...I will be there! Excited for you!!

  5. I love my Birks. I don't care that they're kind of ugly. They make my feet happy. This time of year, I wear garish fluffy socks with my Birks. People point and laugh.