Pre-Race Jitters with a Side of DOMS

Here’s an article I came across while researching my current affliction courtesy of forgoing two weeks of training plan in favor of laying around the house depressed and then picking up where I left off, just to up the ante by a few more miles. Yes, I’m a dumbass. :/

ultraRUNNING Online – Dealing with DOMS

When I first started my marathon training my left knee eventually decided to tell me to knock off the silliness and get back on the couch. After all, my body parts are accustomed to the luxuries the sedentary lifestyle of a geek has to offer, only momentarily interrupted by the physical exertion required to throw a motorcycle around a few curves. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you want to look at this) I was endowed with a pretty fast metabolism and the genetic predisposition of being muscular, which allowed me to indulge in junk food and hours-long sessions in front of the computer without too much damage to the physique. But at 24% body fat, I wasn’t what you would consider healthy or in shape, even if I only weighed 115 pounds and wore a Size 2.

I solved the emerging knee problem by online research and then doing what was suggested as the first steps: making sure I was using the right footwear and paying attention to my stride and keeping things aligned properly. The first made the second so much easier. I’m not sure if my stride is what they would call efficient, but it seems easier on the legs, so it must be better than it used to be.

Since googling and self-diagnosis worked the first time I encountered a problem during my training, I am not shy about using the same strategy again. Is it medically advised? Probably not. Is it smart? The stupidity of the whole endeavor depends largely on how the research was preformed and on the accuracy of the self-diagnosis. But since I don’t really have a choice in the matter, it will have to do.

As with my motorcycle racing skill training, I have to learn most of it on my own and occasionally I might even get to spend some money on professional skill training to make sure I’m on the right track. I’d rather spend money on a racing school then pay for a personal trainer or a running coach and a sports doctor. Thank you, but if I had that kind of money, I’d rather see a world champion racer about a slide around a corner than a dude clad from head to toe in UnderArmour with a clipboard and a stopwatch about some pace-enhancing speed work. Since I have money for neither, at this particular point in my life, the option isn’t available anyway.

Now that I am trying to enhance my body’s performance and not just look the part, I realize that there is more to it than just going out there and doing it. Apparently, DOMS isn’t my only problem. I’m supposed to be fueling my body appropriately, too. However, I’m running on regular 87-octane pump gas, rather than the VP-110 racing fuel I’m supposed to be on. I severely lack in protein and am completely over on the fat. As a vegetarian this is probably the normal state of affairs for my body anyway. I never was one to pay much attention to how much of what and the overall quality of the foods I was eating. I ate what I wanted when I wanted it and how much I wanted.

Partial analysis, however, reveals that my diet is lacking and that I am probably malnourished. No wonder I am always tired, feel sluggish, can’t seem to get enough oxygen into my system and am irritable and moody. Not saying that all these problems stem from my diet and correcting my eating will not solve all of these problems, but it definitely won’t hurt.

I’m really getting nervous about the upcoming race. Just having the suspicion that something is wrong is one thing, but now finding out that there is a definite correlation between my habits and my lack of progress performance wise are two different animals for me. The latter is a hell of a lot harder to overcome mentally. I’m starting to be afraid to fail, even though I have shown that I can cover 13.1 miles without dying, I’m beginning to think that I won’t be able to make it, especially now that my body is showing the damage that I have done by proving that I can cover the distance in the first place, after being ill-prepared. My husband keeps telling me I’m overdoing it. I keep telling him that I have no choice. And I keep telling myself that racers do play hurt.

The anxiety builds. Yesterday I was fretting over the 6-miler, but against all I deemed possible, I made it. I was in pain the entire time, but I made it. Today I don’t want to run the prescribed 3 miles, because I’m still feeling the effects of the six-mile pounding from yesterday. And I don’t even want to think about the 12 miles I am supposed to run on Saturday. I feel like I’m going to a funeral this weekend. My own. I get nauseated just thinking about it.

Yes, I am definitely getting the pre-race jitters. Except this time, they arrive a week early for the wrong sport. And my response to this type of fear is always trying harder, going faster, taking more risks. And something tells me that this might not be the appropriate course of action in the sport of (sorta) long distance running. But I really am at a loss as what to do, and failure is not an option, since I already paid the entrance fee and a DNS is not preferable over a DNF at this point or any other. *sigh*

10 Comments on “Pre-Race Jitters with a Side of DOMS”

  1. You. Will. Do. Great. No need for you to worry as much. There will always be a bit of jitters, but you need to relax a bit too!

    • Miss Busa says:

      Thank you. πŸ™‚ I have a tendency to overthink and freak myself out over what turns out to be nothing to have worried over so and a lot of times I also ended up having fun. I just hope my right leg will make it another 10 days. I hobble around here like I just had hip surgery. LOL Thank you again, for your words of confidence. Means a TON!!!

      • I wanna hear about the results too!!! We want to run your story next Friday right before your race….so this should be awesome!

        • Miss Busa says:

          Very good. My dignity will still be intact at that point and I’ll be happy, excited, and won’t be able to sleep. I can never sleep before a race. I don’t think it’ll be any different here, even if this one is only at roughly 10-12mph.

          I will definitely post the results, no matter how bad or good. I wish for a 2:26 but will be happy if I make it under 2:47. LOL As long as I make it.

  2. MedalSlut says:

    Best of luck on race day! Don’t beat yourself up about not sticking exactly to the training schedule. If your body is saying ‘piss right off’, sometimes it’s better to listen!

    • Miss Busa says:

      πŸ™‚ Thank you. I might listen AFTER the race. LOL Right now I’m trying really hard to tell my body to piss off and quit its incessant whining. I shall find out on Saturday how successful I was and who won that round. I think if I can get through Saturday’s 12-miler then the jitters might just leave me alone until the morning of race day. BTW, I like your username, that’s awesome!

  3. Don says:

    Good luck on your half-marathon Busa-girl. I helped my ex train for the Great North Run – only 10k – a few years back and she breezed it on the day. All that worry and she finished mid-pack of 55,000 runners πŸ™‚

    I get lost on your blog but love your writing style – Don – aka givitsum πŸ™‚

    • Miss Busa says:

      Thank you, Don. πŸ™‚ Very encouraging words. I’ll eventually have to fix this “getting lost” thing. The blog is evolving and now my audience is expanding, so where before I could be pretty certain that my readers know what I was talking about when I throw the biker and racing jargon around (not to mention the colorful “biker language”) now I have all these runners and cool fitness peeps following me and it’s great, but I realize that it needs tweaking and some organization, so I can make it entertaining for everyone, whether they road race under their own power or that of their machines.

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