Tales of 9 Runs: Pre-Game Thoughts

So it's the night before the run.  Actually, it's about 12 hours before the run.  For certain, I'm anxious.  I want to run and I want to run well, but the last few days have had some unexpected events.  So, I'm anxious.

Lance Eaton before his first 25K race.
Can I do this?
On Thursday, I went for a my last pre-race run, thinking I'd do a light 5.5 miles and still have Friday-Sunday to recover for Monday's run.  Unfortunately, I got about 1 mile into the run and something in my right hamstring was tight and giving me trouble.  I could run, but it was giving me trouble I hadn't experienced before. I stopped, stretched, and gave it another 100 yards.  Still tight and troubling.  I told my friend to keep going with his run and I would walk home.  Walking home, I could still feel the tightness and discomfort.  I tried to massage it (which looked odd while walking, no doubt) and occasionally gave a light running to try it.  I came home and relaxed.  Over the last few days, the tightness has seem to gone away.  I've been regularly stretching and massaging my legs, but it still lingers in the back of my mind as I contemplate tomorrow.

The second major (though more important) event was that I spent Saturday night and Sunday in the hospital with a loved one.  This disrupted my sleep and of course, worked away at me emotionally (And yes, the person is doing ok and that is clearly the most important part in the big picture, but as I'm thinking about tomorrow's race, I know the toll it took on me).

Those two events coupled with the overall stress that the semester starts in 2 days (I'm prepared but have lots of things to do in the ensuing weeks as I work, teach, and even take classes) definitely make me anxious.  But I also know that I can do this.  I just have to find and keep my focus, my smile, and my happiness.

Lance Eaton before his first 25K race.  He's got this.
Here it is; a year later from when I started running.  Tomorrow, I run my first 15+ mile race (hell, first 10+ mile race for that matter).  I find that incredibly awesome and even if I don't do as well as I liked; that I have made it this far is pretty encouraging for myself.  So my clothes are set, my breakfast prepared, the alarm clock is set, and I'm going to relax for another short while before turning off the lights.  I will get up in the morning, have breakfast, drive to Gloucester, stretch, walk, and slide myself into the mindset that for the better part of 3 hours, I will be running...and I will be enjoying every step of it.

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