This week is an exciting week, why? Because I’m doing my first race since the beginning of January on Saturday. In my head, it doesn’t seem that long ago, but when I say it out loud, it seems forever ago. It has been 10 months since I last laced up my spikes. It has been 10 months since I last got covered in mud, from head to toe, for the pure enjoyment of it. Yes, you guessed correctly, it is the start of cross country season.
Being a competitive runner, racing is something I and many others long for. You train hard day in, day out, in order to see the results on race day. Sometimes it may not go to plan, other times it may go better than you anticipated, but the feeling I get from racing is second to none. It makes me feel so happy, and so alive in such a short amount of time. Standing on the start line, it becomes about me, my body, and the race ahead. Nothing else crosses my mind. I'm not thinking about what I am going to have for dinner, or what I should write about in my next essay, my mind is completely encapsulated by the race ahead. My mind becomes blank to the worries of the world. Yes, I am nervous, but nerves are good. It shows I care about what it is that I am doing, but it also gives me the extra adrenaline rush I need to run that one notch faster than I usually do in training.
Racing becomes an automated process. Having not raced for such a long time, I feel slightly out of tune with it, but I know when race day arrives, I will know exactly what I am doing. Racing becomes a sort of automated process; my mind is able to operate subconsciously, taking in bits of information that it needs to know, and blanking out all the petit talk that is irrelevant on that day. Race day is about me and the race. It is a positive day that will drive and direct my training, no matter what the outcome. Any result that comes out of it is a positive one that can teach me lessons. It may teach me something I have been doing is working well for me, or on the contrary it may show me something that is going wrong. Either way, I will learn from it, and my use it to your benefit.
Going into a race I always have an aim for myself, whether it may not initially seem obvious. What I thought would need to be a long conversation with my boyfriend to deipher what my aim was, turned out to be a very short conversation as my aim was clearer than I thought . He showed me that this race is as important as any race. It will show me where I am. No matter ‘where I am’ is, it will help me structure my training better, or show me I am heading in the right direction. Racing is positive, and I do it because I love it, so I’m excited to see what the weekend has in store with me. If any of you reading this are racing on the weekend, good luck and enjoy it!
I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!