Ok all you seasoned racers out there, I need some encouaragement, words of wisdom, anything to ease my mind. I am running my first half marathon on Saturday and I am extremely nervous. I have raced in a few 5 & 10k's. Except for the increased mileage, a half shouldn't be much different but it is. I have trained for it but probably not as much as I could have. Sometimes I was just plain lazy and didn't run for whatever reason I could justify in my head. My goal was to be able to run 13 mi by April 1 so then I knew I could run 13.1 miles and spend the next few weeks tapering down a bit but that didn't happen . My longest run to date was 10 miles 2 weeks ago.
Now the run is 3 days away and I'm freaking out on the inside. I am worried that I'll show up late, start to fast, won't eat enough in the morning, get side stitches,etc., or worse...not finish.
Is it normal to be this nervous about a race? I think I'm mostly nervous because I don't think/feel I'm as prepared as I should be. I need some reassurance that I'm worrying about nothing. I know most of you will say all that matters is finishing and having fun but I'm still nervous. What do you do before a race to calm your nerves?
I get the same pre-race nerves. The more you race, the more they subside but they'll probably always be there. A good 10 miler before a half should be fine. I've found with my hectic schedule I can't always train as much as I would like (and like you said, sometimes I'm just plain lazy) but I know how much I trained was based on choices I made and come race day, there is nothing I can do except tell myself its just a training run since I didn't train as much as I should. That usually helps me get past the nerves because I put my expectations out of my mind and race for fun. Most of the time for me those end up being my best races because I'm not stressed. I also know that no matter how nervous I am leading up to the start, as soon as the gun goes off all the nervousness is gone. The best advice I have is that the more you race the better you'll know how to control the nervousness. Good luck with your race!