Turning into the (ir)rational runner 10 days before your marathon

The long runs in the rain.

The track workouts that make you want to puke.

You’d think that those would be the hard part of marathon training.

But, no, all of that seems so easy now.

Right now, with 10 days left until my race, I have turned into the irrational (yet, rational to myself) runner.

What does the (ir)rational runner look like? Let’s take a look at my recent thoughts and movements:

  • The What If I Get Food Poisoning? I made a spinach salad for lunch but then only ate half of it because the spinach had a “funny taste.” It didn’t taste spoiled, just “not normal.” And yes, the remaining spinach in the fridge went into the food compost bin later that evening! (Normally I am not a wasteful person!)
  • The What If It’s Super Sunny And Hot On Race Day? I’m not a hat person. But, since my friend Shannon “practiced” running with a hat last Saturday, I suddenly felt the urge to do the same. This meant running to the local running store Monday, buying a running hat, and running home with it. I’ve gone on three runs with it now and I’m not sure how I feel about it. Better to be prepared than have the hot sun beaming down on you for several hours …
  • The I Am Getting Sick! I’m not sick. But, every other morning I think I am getting a sore throat when I wake up. I am drinking EmergenC nearly every day as a precaution. A runner’s worst nightmare is getting sick right before race day!
  • The What If My Race Clothes Gets Lost In The Wash? A week ago, (so, more than two weeks before race day,) I set aside the shorts and socks I will race in so that they do not disappear before my marathon. Because, you know, I just can’t take any chances.
  • The Sorry, I Can’t Hang Out Next Week I will be hiding under a rock the week of my race. Some of my coworkers were trying to plan a post-work happy hour for Thursday but I said I would be unavailable. This would be three days before my race. I’ll be sitting at home, drinking water and not picking up any “bar germs.”
  • The This Hurts And That Aches I’ve had a very successful training cycle this time around. But, with 10 days left until race day, the irrational runner’s mind starts to think her knee is tweaky, or her legs are getting tight. Get out of my head, head, I say!
  • The Being Really Excited To Now Being Really Nervous A few days ago I was very excited for the race. Now I am getting nervous. Like, the I-don’t-want-to-talk-about-it nervous. So, that’s why I am writing about it instead.

What (ir)rational behaviors do you have before marathons or other races (or anything non-running related that you put a lot of time and effort into?)

Usually when I am nervous, I go on runs. The catch-22 now is that I can’t run. I’m supposed to be tapering! What is this madness??

It’ll all be worth it when I cross that finish line at Hayward Field, right?



4 thoughts on “Turning into the (ir)rational runner 10 days before your marathon

  1. Haha – this is great. While I haven’t had the fear of food poisoning, pretty much all the other stuff is right on the money. Don’t worry – it will all work out! All the best on your race!!

  2. Oh my gosh, this is my life right now! I went in total germaphobe mode when we were at Bellevue Square last night and washed my hands after touching doors, used paper towels to open doors, etc. I feel like a crazy person!

    It doesn’t help that I actually have a good friend who got food poisoning or the stomach flu (she doesn’t know) the night before/morning of Boston in 2014. This is my worst nightmare!

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