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Race-Week Jitters!

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Last week I was feeling pretty good about my preparation for my upcoming (first ever) 50 mile race -- or as good as I could reasonably expect given injury issues. Now that we're a bit closer to the race, that optimism is melting away and getting replaced with a pretty deep sense of dread; the gravity of a 50 mile race is looming. While my thoughts are scattered as always, I thought putting them out in the open may help me face my concerns head on; it also serves the long-term goal of documenting my ultramarathon experience as well as I can.

  • I feel as though I have not trained as well as I should have. This is largely due to my leg injury occurring right at peak training, but also due to a bit of malaise on my part (and buying a house and moving -- that didn't help training either). My longest runs have been 18 miles, which is nowhere near the amount of time I should be spending on my feet to prepare. There's always an excuse if you look hard enough for one; I should have trained more.
  • I've read Bryon Powell's 'Relentless Forward Progress' twice now, hoping to get as much info as possible about ultra running. It's been very useful, but not getting out on runs longer than three hours has me very concerned about food intake on the run.
  • I'm pretty sure I'm going to chafe worse than I've ever chafed in my life. This is more frightening than it should be.
  • I'm not sure what to do about drop bags.
  • I have meals planned for the week, but not Friday night. I should figure that out.
  • Trying to be objective, this is the same sort of freak-out that I've had prior to marathons -- especially my first. I got through those; I can get through this one too.
  • The idea of working hard this week to distract myself is really, really enticing.
  • I'm afraid that I'll forget something important the night before the race.
  • I looked at the elevation profile for the race Saturday and it terrifies me. Training almost exclusively along a flood plain will do that.

These thoughts are snowballing, pretty badly. Whatever -- I'll have to show up at the starting line no matter what on Saturday. I'm sure I'll emotionally oscillate a number of times before the race, ultimately being super-nervous and have trouble eating the morning of the race (this actually concerns me the most). I'm still quite optimistic about the race (no, really -- I am!), but the spiral of self-doubt has taken hold.

Stop being so hyper-emotional, me.