I read a post on Run Addicts website yesterday looking at what your race pre race personality is. The choices were loners and social butterflies. It made me smile as now I come to think of it I know both.
I am however definitely a loner! The article says that loners -
‘avoid all distractions and focus on getting mentally psyched up to race. They’ll usually listen to music using headphones, further isolating themselves. In addition to isolation, music helps this type of runner get geared up to race by increasing energy levels (think hard rock or rap music)’
My music is dance music though, rap and rock does nothing for me when running but they almost got it right!
I get really nervous before races. I don’t know why as it’s not like I end up winning them, although I am racing against myself and going for a time so I guess technically in my eyes if I beat my PR/PB then i have won. I find I need to shut the world up in the line up and just calm down ready for the race to start.
I remember running the Ipswich Park2Park race and I was so nervous. I was beside myself. I wasn’t even that nervous when I ran my marathons and half marathons but I think for me it was two things: 1. the knowing that the race was a tough one – the Park2Park is very hilly and I had trained hard but who knows what happens on race day, and 2. I was running with a group of girls, one of which had ‘coached’ me and helped me with my training and I didn’t want to let her down. I think i went to the toilet at least 4 times before that race. I plugged into my headphones and didn’t really talk to anyone and pushed. I did ok, not the best (see my write up on it) but I was glad it was over because of the nerves.
I used to get into rituals before training like I had to go to the toilet twice before starting my run otherwise i’d always need to go on the way round but I think a lot of that is psychological and my brain trying to get some control over the situation, funny isn’t it!
I found when I did more low keys races like the Park2Park and the Brisbane Road Runners races that I was ok, so that’s where my concentration lies for 2012. Who knows, maybe i’ll even become more of a butterfly than a loner!
So the rain stayed away and I got to run my race. I was actually really nervous before walking down from work to the river – I guess it’s because I hadn’t trained for the race – even though it was only a 5k I like to always feel prepared.
I turned up and was waiting for my friend and her husband so got to take a good look around me. The people there looked reasonably fit. I recognised the winner of the Doomben 10k Claire Geraghty – I figured she would win for sure (and she did! – well done!) .
I felt a bit uncomfortable waiting for my friend with people almost sizing one another up – trying to work out if the person they were looking at was faster than them or not – so it was more like a gym than a club runner race to me.
My friend arrived and we tried to get in a reasonable spot to start- that’s where I often understand what cows and sheep go through when they are herded into pens as you have people pushing and shoving a fair bit and my Garmin bevel kept getting knocked so I was anxious the race would start and I wouldn’t be prepared.
The race started and it was unlike any race I had done before – there was no nice runners etiquette – my friend and I literally got elbowed and shoved – so I decided to dart forward to get through the surge – sink or swim so got through the first kilometre in 4.09mins!
The thing with short races is you literally have to start as you mean to go on. So I got my head down and pushed on. Personally I am not sure that the river pathway was wide enough for as many runners as there were and it bottlenecked a lot but on the whole it was a nice flatish run.
I got elbowed and pushed a lot during the race and had to resist the urge to push back but I was reasonably happy with my time. According to my Garmin it was 5.11km and I did it in just under 26 mins. The official results according to the chip time was Official time – race – 26.10 – 15th in my division of 35-39 yr and 85th woman- 594th out of 2,349 ppl (the last fig doesnt sound so great!). I’ve done faster but am happy with the time – I must have been trigger happy with my Garmin!
My friend Maria came in a bit battered – she got pushed into a bush when running the race!!!!! I cannot believe that runners could be so rude – they should be ashamed of themselves !!
I don’t think I will be doing this race next year but it was certainly an experience and good to say that I have done it.