Staying Calm

The Oakville Half Marathon is exactly one week from today. That means two things for me. First, my remaining runs will be very different – all short, some easy, some quick, and one at my target race pace. Second, I’ll face my usual task of staying calm and not getting any pre-race heebie jeebies.

I’m a bit of a worrier at the best of times. The prospect of a race in the near future provides my brain and my nervous system with the perfect excuse to go into mild overdrive. Is that burning sensation on the ball of my right foot just a tingle, or a sign of something more serious? Why is my left thigh tight, when it’s been perfectly fine for months? What if it’s really cold on race day? What if it rains?

I know it’s all nerves and foolishness, and I know that, whatever happens, it’ll all turn out right in the end. So the way I deal with the heebie jeebies (and keep them from developing into a full-blown attack of the howling fantods) is to allow myself to be the observer of all the silliness. I watch myself reacting to the stress (real and anticipated), and I can see as well as feel the biochemical changes that give rise to the worries.

That’s not by any means an ideal situation. But it sure beats working myself into a state where I might not enjoy the street party of a 21.1K race on a nice fall day on a good course with 500 or so friends I’ve never met before.



  1. There’s no getting away from the fact that races are a big deal. But I know you’ll be fine. And what’s more, I know that you know that you’ll be fine. The last sentence of this fine blog post, says it all.

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