Racing and race day brings out a cycle of race day emotions. Happiness, sadness, excitement — what does race day bring for YOU? #oorah
Today I’m going rogue on the Friday Five 2.0 topic. I think the topic is “Fall Foods” — which I love — but since I’m preparing to run my fourth marathon, it has no relevance to my life right now. I’ll be dreaming of all the food come race day, but right now I’m way too amped up to think about that.
This is the second time I’ve come to D.C. to run MCM. It’s a race second to none. It’s almost indescribable. The emotion, the crowd support, the atmosphere. It’s all just so… raw. In 2016, when I was preparing to toe the line at MCM, I shared my top five moments of MCM training as well as all the things I was looking forward to in D.C. Not much has changed in those aspects so I won’t repeat myself. So in the spirit of MCM being a really raw, emotional experience, and since this is my third long distance race of 2017 and I’m in a semi-fragile emotional state as it is, I’m going to share with you the cycle of emotions I feel on race weekend, race day, and immediately following. Some of them might surprise you.
The Cycle of Race Day Emotions
Over the years, my pre-race anxiety has dwindled to a manageable level. That doesn’t mean it’s not still there, though. Traveling for a race brings up the anxiety level a notch since not only do I need to get ready for said race, but I also need to pack to be a tourist, go out to dinners, and for any and all weather conditions race day may throw my way.
This race weekend is no different. As the days between today and race day decrease, my anxiety level increases. Anxiety is a normal part of the race experience, and even though I can manage it much better than ever before, it’s still there — and it’s still stressful.
I’m extremely excited for race weekend. I get to meet Coco, Deborah, and Erika in the flesh (actually, by the time you’re reading this I probably already have!), plus I get to reunite with my college roomie who I haven’t seen in years. And hopefully I’ll reconnect with a few other friends I know in the area. To say I’m excited would be the understatement of the year!! I’m so excited, in fact, that inside I feel like this:
Even though on the outside, I look like this:
There’s no better feeling than accomplishing a really tough goal. For me, the tough goal is the marathon. A lot can happen in 26.2 miles. Ask anyone. But I won’t take the journey, the training, and the race experience for granted. I’m so thankful I’m able to have this experience, and I’m so happy the celebration is just around the corner.
Every race is different, but the aftermath is usually the same. When I traveled to Duluth for Grandma’s with my husband, we had an amazing weekend. I got to meet Kim and Gina, we got to spend time together sans kids, and it was just an overall amazing experience. I was super sad when it was all over. When I’ve run local races I’ve come home being so sad I didn’t get to spend more time with some of my favorite local runners. And after MCM, I know I’m going to be super bummed that it’s time to go home.
But aside from that, I’ll also miss the training. I’m extremely exhausted and very ready for a break from training, but I also really enjoy working toward a goal. As much as I look forward to sleeping in and spending more time with my family, I’ll be sad not to have something to work toward. Or will I…?
A big part of me is really relieved to be done with marathoning for 2017. I’m exhausted. I really, truly need a break. I was borderline burnt out several weeks ago if you recall. So while I will be sad and I’ll really miss running with my friends weekly and working toward a difficult goal, I’m also relieved this journey is almost over. I need some form of sanity back in my life. I need to recharge so I’m ready for the next goal, whatever that may be.
Marathoning is, and always will be, a very emotional venture. Blood, sweet, and even tears go into a training cycle with the ultimate goal being feeling the thrill of victory at the finish. Running is a pleasure and I’m so grateful that not only do I love it, but that I have the ability to do it. While I may be physically and mentally drained from training, one thing’s for certain — I’m gonna have a BLAST on Sunday at the 42nd Marine Corps Marathon. I can’t freaking WAIT! Let’s do this, runners!
Do you go through a cycle of race day emotions?
Have you run MCM before?