Last year before my first interstate race I spent the whole week before in a stomach-churning state of anxiety culminating in a quick trip to the doctors for a script to get me through it. So already I'm counting this trip as a win.
I even had a moment last night when I got excited about going - so nice to feel like a normal person for a change. All it took was a few texts back and forth with a lovely friend who lives down there. It was a reminder of why I'd chosen Canberra in the first place. Any day I get to spend time with Karen is a good day. Between her and my in-laws, I've got most of my free time covered. And that's a good thing because less free time = less time to think = less chance of being a crazy lady.
I'm so happy with my state of mind that I've set myself some goals for the race. My first is to get to the start line without drugs. If I can do the whole weekend without breaking into my stash I'll be happy.
The second goal is to eat on Saturday. Believe me this can be no small task when I'm nervous. My stomach just closes up and I can't force anything down. It's great for weight management but not so great for running an endurance race.
The third goal is to run it under 2 hours. Can you see what I'm doing here? That's right - I'm putting absolutely no pressure on myself to perform. That can (and will) happen once the gun goes off and I get caught up in the race excitement. I know I can run under 2 hours - I've been doing that on my long slow Saturday runs every week. And by taking away any pressure I've got a better chance of meeting my first two goals. It's a plan that's almost genius in its simplicity.
And I have a mantra - "You can only run as fast as you can run." How's that for no pressure? No expectations - I'm just going to do the best that I can do on the day.
I just have one favour to ask. In the spirit of putting absolutely no pressure on myself, please no mention about race times in the comments section.