Marathon Running and Race Support
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Is ‘Half Maranoia’ a thing?

My race pack arrived today for my first HM next weekend and instead of the usual feelings of giddy excitement mixed with disbelief, I felt decidedly panicky. Things I am worrying about include: a blister on my big toe picked up on Sunday’s long run; skipping last night’s run to see an old friend; what to wear; what to eat and whether I can complete the distance before the 2hr45 cut off.

Now, the logical, sensible part of my brain knows that it’s just a blister - my foot isn’t about to drop off; I’ve only skipped one run in months of really conscientious training; I am perfectly capable of dressing and eating appropriately for four runs a week so there’s no reason why this should be any different; I’ve completed 12+ miles on four occasions and would have been comfortably under 2hrs45 on all of them.

And yet still, there’s an irritating little devil on my shoulder whispering that I can’t do this! What’s wrong with me? Is this normal? And what do I do to get rid of the little b***er?!

23 Replies
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Of course it's normal. I usually feel something similar before my races, and had a much worse case of it before my marathon last week. Just remind yourself that you'll be fine. You know you can do it. It's a matter of fact, from what I can tell.

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I can’t imagine how terrifying it must have been in the lead up to a marathon! I hope it went well last week, despite your feelings beforehand. Logically, I absolutely know you’re right so I don’t know why I’m driving myself up the wall. I might have to undertake a horribly complicated DIY project or something to distract myself!

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It sure is, and it’ll happen every time! I did my first HM last year, I knew the panic would come, I’d followed my plan, tapered etc.,etc., but still worried about getting round, finding/needing the loo, losing my number, faffed about what to wear.....🤦‍♀️ had I trained enough? Did I need to do a bit more.....aaarrrgghhhh! Just accept it, go with the flow, you’ll be amazed how excited you’ll be in that starting pen....eager for the off...and you’ll have a blast.

I had a further panic about the second HM I did, had a cut off time of 3 hours, for some reason my brain just would not accept my training times....although the first was all road, the second was trails....😱.....

Goodness knows what state i’ll be in for the next one (coming in March) .....I’m already concerned I’m getting slower......😂

Mx

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Oh my goodness - don’t even get me started on going to the loo! That part of the panic will no doubt set in mid-week! The race pack says there are no loos on way round so I’ll have to pee at least 20 times before entering the pens! 😂

Fabulous that you’ve put yourself through all this twice and you’re still coming back for more. Like you, I’ve convinced myself I’m getting slower. Sunday’s run was a shocker but I’m sure it was at least partly psychological...

Good luck with your preparation for March. Tell me it gets easier every time you do it?! 😬

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Ah well, got to prove the first one wasn’t a fluke, (Cambridge HM) so doing it again just to make sure....😂, as for the trail half did say ‘never again’ as my whole body had enough of the hilly terrain......but you never know.....the countryside is nice....🤪....plenty of places for an emergency pit stop too....😉

I must admit it’s the atmosphere that’s addictive, the Cambridge HM has support practically all the way round, bands, not to mention some great sights, and if you get bored it goes through the city centre so can do a bit of shopping....😂.....it was such a buzz.....I was completely cream crackered at the end.....but loved it

Not sure it gets easier, but I’m growing in confidence that I have the fitness and stamina to do a HM (even though I’ve done two...) daft!

Good luck, you’re gonna have a blast!

Mx

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That sounds wonderful! I’m not sure there’ll be much atmosphere (let alone shopping) at this one and the route doesn’t look very inspiring - but at least it’s flat and on tarmac! I’ve stupidly signed up for a trail HM at the end of Feb but it’s described as “extremely hilly”; I’m not even going to contemplate doing it till this one is out of the way!

Funny how we doubt ourselves, isn’t it? It’s reassuring to know you still do it though, even after completing two. Makes me feel less daft about my mini-meltdown...

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It's normal. Wait until you start dreaming that the race is starting and you are suddenly 5 miles away - but I'm sure it will Be alright on the night as they say. Good luck.

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Oh that sounds like the kind of thing I’d do - assuming I can fall asleep at all! Glad to know I’m not alone!

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Oh no, my paranoia is kicking in already and I am still in the training phase! All of these worries are ones I have. Hopefully they will be sorted by runday!

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My list of worries just gets bigger and more ridiculous the closer I get to the Big Day! I’m not sure that I’ve ever been this nervous about anything! 😬🙈

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If you do the training then there’s no need for self doubt 🙂👍

Enjoy yourself 😃👍💪🏃‍♀️

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Ah but some of us are self doubters and need as much mental training and leg training!! I need to read this post in the run up to my hm 😁

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Thank you! The logical part of my brain knows this but the unreasonable part wants me to drive myself mad anyway! I ran over 100 miles in December so I’ve put the work in. I’m just being ridiculous - but the knowledge that I’m being ridiculous isn’t enough to stop me being ridiculous 😂😂😂

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Doing the training removes that part of the doubt though. It’s ticked off and one less thing to worry about, but the most important one

A check list, either physical or mental, helps with the ticking off process

Training tops the list ✔️

Nutrition

Sleep

Hydration

Etc 🙂

I have a training plan on paper on my desk. It’s tangible and I tick off each run. I always feel relieved when I do so. It’s all part of the routine of getting prepared. The familiar is always reassuring 🙂

I always have a new plan for each race or new distance.

You do build up your confidence as you do this stuff 🙂

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Ok, I can tick off training. I’m not so sure about nutrition - do mince pies count?! 🙈 I’m terrible at sleeping at the best of times but hydration should be ok.

I like a paper training plan too. I transferred all my runs on to a printable calendar and I have one on the wall of my office at work and one in my office at home. I know there are fancy apps and things but you can’t beat the satisfaction of ticking off your runs on a piece of paper 👍

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Ha ha 😁. I worry more about gear! I am horribly forgetful. I can pack my gear and then walk off and leave it. I forget my water often, and once left the bottle hanging on the back,of,the loo door on a boiling hot day 🙄

Things are never as bad as we build them up to be, and you don’t want to spoil your enjoyment of the race day, so do try and relax and be prepared to let things go Get a yoga dvd! I have and I’m loving it 🙂

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Oh I’m hopeless with gear too - and paperwork. I often drive off without my race number - or safety pins - or directions...

And I lose something every week at parkrun. Last week it was my brand new barcode wristband; this week it was my gloves! 😂

Funnily enough, I’ve just signed up for beginners’ yoga classes. I’m really excited about getting started.

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From the sound of it and all your runs last month you're going to be fine! i know i stressed before my 1st one, had IT band issue and tried the distance before and it HURT!! but on the day it became more of a "I WILL do this!" mentality and the joy of crossing the line of your 1st HM is something to remember! which is why we come back for more even though in the minutes afterwards you might not feel it straight away! you'll be great it's 100% normal to feel like this. Like MW says, getting organised the night before really helps the faffage , go and enjoy it and report back to tell us all how it went! :)

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Thank you! I know I’ve put the work in but I’m still worrying about every little ache and pain that I’d usually just ignore! I think I probably felt something similar before my first 10-miler and I didn’t train anywhere near as hard for that and it was still ok on the day. I’ve already started to get organised, such is my paranoia! Race number, safety pins, directions etc are already in the side pocket of my kit bag so I can’t lose them this time 😂

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By the way, yes you can do it :)

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Thank you! I drove past a road closure sign for it today and nearly lost control of my bladder! Ha!

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lol not lol :)

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Better today than next week, I guess!

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