Surprising Race Jitters

On Sunday I will be running my first half marathon in over a year.  The Manitoba Half Marathon.  Despite it being a local race, I have only run it once before…and one time was completely miserable.


I’m not planning on any PRs nor have I trained enough to even think one is a possibility…this isn’t a goal race…this was a “get back into racing headspace” race…and, surprisingly, despite not having any major goals aside from not die and do my best, I have race jitters.

I’m jittery about how it’s gonna feel…will I make it without feeling like absolute crap (physically and emotionally).  My mental muscle for racing is not where I would like it to be…and I really don’t want to feel like shit as I run. Is it going to be disgusting hot?  This race has a reputation of having disgusting hot weather. Will I be able to find and keep my happy pace?  I have struggled with starting out too quick in races in the last few I did and especially in the last 10K I did…(which I really need to recap) and rarely does that end positively.  This is also a race that I have only participated in once before, because it went sooooo poorly and the course was not so great.

But…there is always a but, isn’t there?

But, there are some awesome things too….my dad is coming with to watch and cheer me on.  The course has been reversed as per the directions of the new race director..and admittedly, I am hopeful that the race director has implemented some other fun changes at the race, too.

Also, the best thing about doing the race on Sunday is that, so far, *knock on wood* I am NOT injured.  YAAAAS! 🙂

So yeah…Sunday is going to be an interesting day, I think!  Wish me luck!  And I’m open to any advice you may have on reducing race jitters!



Part 1: PRs at Disney – Training

It’s a glorious 3 months until the Dumbo Double Dare/Disneyland Half Marathon weekend kicks off….and I’m really starting to focus on training as I want me a new half marathon PR…and maybe a 10K PR if I can make it happen…because there is nothing I love more than running PRs at Disney….regardless of what the haters say.

Now, I have wrote about the haters before….the ones that say you aren’t running Disney right if you are running it for a PR.  Sigh.  Run the race you want to and do so in a way that doesn’t negatively impact the other runners around  you. Whether you are running “fast” or “slow,” just get your miles in and get your bling!  Nobody really cares about your time and your race except you and those who love you…and even those who love you, probably don’t understand the time thing unless they are runners.


me and my double PR, coast to coast bling from 2013

I have run Disney with PRs in fun as goal and I’ve done Disney and I have achieved new PRs.  Both approaches have left me with very fond race memories and I don’t regret any of my runDisney race approaches….though I do regret doing as much theme park time as I did for GSC last year. Oy!  That made for some very cement feeling legs.

Admittedly, Disney races can be more difficult to PR in simply due to the volume of runners and the number of inexperienced runners.  The key is to plan ahead for this and any other possible problems before you may encounter.

Here are my training tips:

1. Pick a race day strategy and train to it.  This is key.  If you want to run a PR you need to try and replicate what is likely to happen on race day as much as possible.  One strategy I like to use is starting out a bit slower in the beginning and picking your speed up in the middle to end miles, once the crowds have thinned a bit.  Also, going slow will allow you to more effectively navigate and weave through runners.

Another strategy I have found to be effective if I opt to do intervals is to actually try to run without intervals for the first mile or so.  Again, this will allow you to get some distance between you and the crowds when the race starts.

So once you find something that works for you, train to it.  Practice it at a few local races to see how it feels.

2. Train like you are doing the challenge.  I recommend doing 3-5 back to back training days to replicate your race weekend – essentially doing a 10K one day and then a 10 plus mile run the next day.  It makes all the difference in making sure your body and mind are ready for what is ahead of you.  I would even recommend trying one or two at your race pace so you can get an idea of what you will feel like if you were to hit your goals on race day.

3. Speed work, speed work, speed work. I cannot stress this enough.  Do this regularly and consistency.  There are so many different types of speed work drills so you can’t get bored…but know this…speed work is hard….and it can be hard on your body, so don’t do it too much..I aim for one workout a week.  I like mixing up between distance repeats (be it 1/4 mile, 1/2 mile or mile repeats), pyramid or ladder runs, or hill training.  This way,  you get some variety and will be less likely to hurt yourself.

4. Cross train and then run on those tired legs.  This is a bit of a variance on tip two. Try to do some sort of physical activity before you go for your run.  Like a boot camp class or some weight training.  Yes, the run will be hard with fatigued muscles, but there are definite benefits when it comes to the mental toughness of making it through a run when fatigued.  This will be especially beneficial if you are going to be doing the parks pre-race and during the race. Oh and then there is the whole strength training/cross training benefits, too.  Almost forgot about those. 🙂

5. Schedule some 10K races during your training, if possible.  I did three 10Ks in preparation for my DDD in 2013.  I found that they were excellent in teaching me how to keep and hold pacing, esp. with race jitters and adrenaline flowing.  It also highlighted the progress I was making in my endurance, speed and mental toughness, which spurred me on to keep working harder.

Stay tuned for Part 2 next week!


Race Recap: Physio Fit Run

The Race
Name: The Physio Fit Run 26th Anniversary
Date: Saturday, May 14, 2016
Location: Assiniboine Park in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Registration Fee: $40 (I registered late) plus a $3.50 registration fee for a total of $43.50.
Race Package Contents: a shirt, bib and race chip.

Race Day
Weather: COLD!  it was -5 air temp, no idea what the windchill was, but other than the cold, is was a bright, sunshiny day.
Clothing: Wore three layers.  A super light tank, followed by a hoodie and then a windbreaker jacket.  Only started to get warm around the mile four mark, but it wasn’t unbearable.
Shoes: My new-ish Asics GT-2000 3s.
Accessories: sunnies, my arm pocket for my phone/id/cash and a headband to keep my ears warm and ache free (cold winds  make my ears ache like crazy).

My Race
Distance: 10K
Goal Time: None really.  I really wanted to finish strong as this was my first race in a year.
Clock Time: 52:33
Chip Time: 52:15
Splits: 8:13/8:13/8:13/8:16/8:19/8:33/7:49 (0.32 miles for my last split according to the Garmin as it registered as 6.32 miles)
Place: 4th/20 in my age group (F35-39), 20/133 women, 69/243

Thoughts and Feelings

IMG_1578[1]So. Many. Feels.  This race went SO much better than I thought it would.  I went in with little expectations for time.  I wanted to push and just do my best and I think I did that.  My only issue came toward the end…mile 6, as you can see by my splits, was slow thanks to a side stitch that just wouldn’t fade. Admittedly, if this was the worst that happens to me a race when I was feeling really unfit and unprepared, I am totally a -ok.

I had a mild exercise induced headache afterwards, which sucked, but I also felt like it was worth it because well, it was awesome to race again.  The fact that it went so well…only 3 minutes and change off of my PR time, makes me feel like I might just be able to get my speed back. 🙂

The course wasn’t overly spectacular…it’s the same route as a number of other 10Ks in the City that happen at the park and that is not the race director’s fault by any means…it’s just the nature of running a race in a park vs a neighbourhood.

I loved the fact that there was a medal for the 10K.  Much like a lot of runners, I like getting finishing medals at races…I find it more meaningful than the race shirt or my bib.  The race shirt was pretty cute and has the same turtle as the medal, but it is a cotton poly blend so it will most likely become a pj shirt vs a training shirt.

This is definitely a race I would consider running again in the future.