It’s normal for me to get butterflies on the morning of a race but never have I ever been this nervous about a race before. Its 6 days until the London Marathon and I already having extreme Maranoia.
For the past Five days I have woken up in the middle of the night following nightmares – we are talking about nightmares where my intestines are falling out while i’m running – which has caused my anxiety to peak and my insomnia curse to rear its ugly head.
I am not going to let this get in the way of making it to the start line next Sunday at all but boy I can see what everyone is on about. I have had a few messages from fellow runners on Instagram who are experiencing the same nerves so early on so I know I am not alone. That’s why I thought I should probably share how I am dealing with my maranoia, as I am not alone so we can all get through this together.
Relax and take a day off.
Seeing as the average runner who has stuck to their training plan (unlike me) runs near enough 1,000 miles before the big day, its no surprise injuries happen so easily. However, most of the niggles we feel are phantom injuries that don’t exist, we are just trying to find a problem. Taking a day off training is the best way to beat this. Having a long Epsom salt bath along with putting your feet up will clear up any niggles that you may have and put your mind at ease.
As soon as your mind begins to wander (more like sprint away in a bid to get a world record) with worries, you need to stop your thoughts in their track before you spiral. I have found meditating very helpful when my anxiety peaks. Taking time out to slow down your breathing, so you can rationalise your thoughts is a game changer. I’d recommend Headspace simply because that’s what I’ve tried and tested and know works for me, there are hundreds of guided meditation apps out there which will help you achieve the same thing.
Ease up on yourself.
We have all set a goal time for the race as it’s honestly what gets us through the training -mine is under 7 hours – however this can cause us so much stress during the final countdown because we start to question if it’s a realistic goal and consequently our own self belief. Getting round the course is bloody hard, so forcing yourself to get round the course in a certain time without giving yourself some slack is all so overwhelming. If you’re suffering from Maranoia than you need to ease up on yourself a tad and think about setting yourself a back up time. This doesn’t mean on the day you don’t go out guns blazing for goal number one, it means that when things get tough you know your back up is there and you wont start believing you’re a failure at mile 15 because your pace has dropped.
Remember why you started.
Most of us signed up to this marathon as a fun challenge to see what we could do and if we could make it across that finish line, way before we dedicated ourselves to a charity or a time. So just remember when you’re worrying about fundraising targets and finish times that this is your journey and you most likely wont do it again so just enjoy it as best as you can. As much as my marathon next Sunday is dedicated to Cardiomyopathy UK on behalf of my family, I am actually doing it for myself. How far can I go? Where is the limit? Can I beat the limit and succeed even further?
To all of you that are running London Sunday, or any marathon for that matter – Good Bloody Luck!!