WARNING: Long rant of pre-race nerves follows, this is your last chance to turn back!
Today is the day of my very first race, ever! And I am TERRIFIED! I wonder why I thought it was a good idea to sign up for in the first place?
I've been driving myself crazy worrying about this race for the past week. What if I get lost and run the wrong way? I'm quite sure that can happen as I'll probably be the very last one in the whole race. What if I find out running on asphalt is A LOT harder than running on a treadmill? Why didn't it occur to me to try running on asphalt at least ONCE before the race? What if I trip and fall and embarrass myself? Or finish way behind everyone else and embarrass myself that way? The list of bad things that could happen just goes on and on.
Then, today, I looked at some pictures from earlier races, and a whole new set of worries surfaced. There were so many people! I hadn't thought about all the people who would see me run and finish way later than everyone else. All the ones who would no doubt think me stupid to have signed up for a race when I clearly can't run. And there are cobbled stones! I never even considered that, and I'm scared my frail ankles will be hurt.
Tonight I had a nightmare where I started the race and ran for a while, only to find out that I had forgotten the timer chip (is that what it is called?), and I had to find someone in charge and convince him to give me another. Of course, by the time I got back to the start line to start over again, everyone else had left.
So, as you can probably tell, I'm just a wee bit scared!
I know that someday, I'll probably laugh thinking about how scared I am now. But I'm not laughing now... And I am sure it will feel wonderful to cross that finish line having faced my fears. But right now I don't feel like facing anything.
To be honest, all I want to do is curl up in my bed and forget I ever signed up for this. The only thing keeping me from doing that, is that I know I will feel more like a failure if I don't even give it a go. I don't want to disappoint myself like that. The regret of not daring lingers a lot longer than feeling like a loser for finishing last does. Quitting would feed my inner critic, and I'm trying to silence her once and for all. So I am going to do this, no matter how scared I am, and no matter how much I don't want to right now.
Enough ranting, now I'm going to let go of my fears and focus on my goals. I am going to sit down and envision crossing the finish line with a new personal record. I can do this, and that's what I'll keep my focus on from here on out. Wish me luck!