Anticipation

anticipationAnticipation also sometimes interpreted as anxiety.  Well whatever it is, I’ve got it!  I think it is anticipation though.  Tomorrow is my favorite race, the Lone Gull 10K and why wouldn’t I like it.  It was the first real race I ran as a distance runner, it is along the ocean and every time I have run it I have had wonderful weather and wonderful people there to support me.  This year will be no different. 

The course has not changed and since this is my third year I have a really good feeling about it.  The weather is supposed to be beautiful with the race temp being in the 60’s.  I have also got a few more miles under my belt as well as a few more races so I finally feel like I can relax in a race.

My goal is similar to last years which was ”run it in under 50 mins”, last year I missed by 15 seconds.  Here is hoping that that is not the case this year.  Something really fun about this race (other than we run along the ocean at 9am in the morning and it is beautiful) is that the amount of people registered to run is twice as many as usual.  I think that is awesome.  I am so glad for the organizers that they have been able to grow this wonderful race (so now I will be running with 1000 of my closests friends!).

Early morning at the Lone Gull in 2012

Early morning at the Lone Gull in 2012

Now what to do with all this anticipation/anxiety and how to turn this blog post into a little something more than me talking about a race….

For me I burn anticipation/anxiety by redirecting my thoughts and keeping busy.  Today I spent some time doing some things for myself (got an unexpected manicure by a friend) as well as the normal Saturday errands including laundry and grocery shopping.  But the one thing that was missing on this beautiful day was a run.  And believe me that was hard because it was gorgeous outside.  (I try not to run the day before a race no matter how far the race is.)  But usually the best way for me to decrease my anxiety is go out for a run and not one with a determined amount of time.  I find that my body tells me how far it needs to go to help me feel better.  Just last weekend I went out for a run and what was gonna be a 10 mile run turned into a 14 mile run.  But in the end I knew I was able to think through my thoughts and I felt less anxious about beginning my work week the next day.

Some other good ways to decrease anxiety:

  1. Relaxation/Breathing exercises – for me yoga is good especially the low-impact type and breathing is vital to do this well.  Also breathing exercises can be done in a stressful situation to help you regain focus too.  Like today when the cashier at Wal-mart was a complete jerk to me and all I wanted to do was scream at her because she was so rude but instead I just looked at her and said to myself, “you will not still my joy and I will have a good day despite you!”
  2. Exercise – I know right, I keep coming back to this but when you are actively doing something you use that pent up energy and you concentrate more on the activity than the thoughts going on in your head.
  3. Write it down! – Sometimes when feeling anxious, it is a good idea to write down the thought.  Then look at it and see if you can reframe it into something different.  I call it restructuring your thoughts and my clients as well as myself, call it difficult but it does work.
  4. Distracting – all of these are forms of distractions.  But for this one I guess I mean consciously make the choice to finding something distracting.  I have a client who watches movies.  He tells me that he goes by the two hour rule, because that is how long most movies are.  At the end of the movie he takes a moment to reexamine himself and see where he is and if he can’t handle things, he pops another movie in.  This works for him because he has a lot of time on his hands but for others I tell them to try distracting themselves for 30 minutes then reexamine.  If 30 minutes is to long then how about 15 mins or maybe even 5 mins but be sure to reward yourself with positive thoughts after you make the time you have allotted for yourself because only by doing this will you get the confidence you need to continue.  

How do you deal with anxiety/anticipation? 

I’m off to bed early because I have an hour and 15 min drive in the morning to make it to my race and I want to feel rested so I can hit that goal!

Who wouldn't want to run along this scenery!

Who wouldn’t want to run along this scenery!