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Full On Panic Mode

I’ve tried to avoid it. I’ve trained properly, eaten properly (mostly), slept properly (usually), cross trained, and stretched. My legs have no nagging aches or pains. I’m little overstuffed from dinner last night, but I generally feel very good. In spite of my best efforts, pre-race panic has set in in full force. I have nightmares about suddenly being mid-race without knowing the marathon had started. I forgot my chip. Or, I’m running on a busy street and traffic hasn’t been blocked so I have to stop for lights. Or, my dream self decides to give up and go into a coffee shop where I spend the next 20 minutes beating myself up for quitting. Or I forget to go to DC all together and wake up Sunday morning in a panic, realizing I’m supposed to be at the marathon. These are not the thoughts of a rational human being. These are the thoughts of a lunatic. That’s me, Katherine the lunatic.

I obsessively check the weather (though if my wedding day had taught me anything, I wouldn’t bother for a second). I’m desperately trying to put together outfits A, B and C, depending on the start/finish temperature. Do I prefer warm legs, or a warm upper body? I don’t remember! Should I buy throw-away clothes? If so, where?!

Should I run with my fuel belt or have I properly trained for water stops? Should I pin Gu to my shorts so I have energy along the way? Or task my friend and The Huz with finding me every 4-6 miles to give me a pack.

Have I really trained enough? Fast enough? Far enough? Should I sign up with a pace group? What if I sign up for the 4:30 pace group and I can’t keep up with them at the end? Is it better to sign up for the 4:15 pace group and just gradually let them get a lead on me throughout the course of the race?


19 Responses

  1. Woman. You must chill. Imagine how I must feel.

    (As she says “what’s a pace group?”)

    How about this? We’ll finish the marathon. And that’s the only goal. Deal?

  2. i heart you!! this is actually very normal!! you are about to do a HUGE thing, so of course you are going to experience anxiety! i am INSANELY jealous of you, and i KNOW you are going to ROCK it out!! GOOOO KAtherine, i will be thinking about you!!

  3. Check out http://www.PhotoWidow.com for a corresponding viewpoint from another wife!

  4. Aw boo for those dreams! But think about it this way, you DEFINITELY won’t forget ANYTHING or make the same mistakes you make in those nightmares!! 🙂 Good luck, SO incredibly exciting 🙂 🙂

  5. Katherine,

    You are going to be awesome! I have a ridiculous amount of faith in you, and I seem to remember when I didn’t think I could do anything someone telling me it was all mental and in my head. Sound familiar? 😉 You’re going to be phenomenal so don’t worry at all.


    • Aww thanks Kate!! You know, I have a feeling you’re going to be pretty amazing too – good thing we’ll both be pounding the same pavement that day! Can’t wait! 🙂

  6. While my first thought is to tell you to calm down if at all possible, I do think that your anxiety is totally normal, since a marathon is no small thing. The reality is that getting through it is likely going to be mind over matter, so if you can get into that good headspace beforehand, I think that is the most important thing. You can and will do it. Period.

    • Diana, how can I even tell you how much I appreciate your earnest, fact-of-the-matter words? It’s so true that Sunday will be a mental game and I’m just going to keep repeating your last thoughts to myself – I can and will do it. Period!

  7. Hahaha! You are so funny! A lot of thought (and anxiety!) really does go into preparing for a marathon. There is no way to know what is going to work best for you that day. You just pick something and go with it. You are going to kick some marathon booty!! Good luck!!!!!

  8. dude. i know JUST how you feel. well, kinda. i had 3 different nightmares about my race. in one my mom let me oversleep (until noon) and then told me my heat didnt start until 4 pm. i was so pissed that they had certain corrals leave at different times and i was stuck with such a late one, i skipped the race. yeah, that was the most “normal” of my nightmares, too.
    i get anxiety about every single race, from a half marathon to a 5K. im not sure if its healthy, but it ends the second i get lined up. then i get EXCITED! so im sure you will too.
    and just in case you forgot, you CAN do this, you WILL do it, and you are a total stud no matter what for all the training and prep youve already endured.
    so breathe in and breathe out and tell yourself, i will cross the finish line one way or another. because i know you will kill it 🙂

  9. Aww, Katherine, I can totally relate to all feelings of panic! I am not an experienced runner at all, but I do know that once you just START RUNNING, your anxiety will go away. The energy from the race and others around you will totally get you in the zone. You will be GREAT. Just focus on getting to the point where you can start to run!

    • You’re so right, Lara. Once I start, I’ll be fine. I’m just focusing now on conserving my energy, rather than wasting it on being too nervous. I’d hate to feel drained on Sunday b/c I was too busy panicking all week. Thanks for your support!

  10. oh goodness! the only prerace jitter I ever had was “oh no! what if I need to go the bathroom mid-race!” oh dear. You’ll be fine sweetie!

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