Motivation and Terror

My training's gone to pot. I'm supposed to be getting ready for the Windsor Half (my first half marathon, my second race ever) but increasingly I'm finding it difficult to get out there and run. I just lie in bed and think of all the reasons why not, and I feel apprehensive, scared or terrified about the run ahead. When I get out there it's fine. I had a really good 6 miler on Friday, I hardly thought about running all the way round, there was no pain or even much sensation of effort - I felt strong, fit and great. Yet I avoided my 13 mile run yesterday (did an hour of yoga instead) and this morning I invented a stomach pain (gone now!) so that I didn't have to go out.
What is wrong with me ? Is this a well documented pre race phenomenom ? My ambition for the race is to get round in about 2.10. I've done one 13.1 mile do I need to do another before the race or could I just ease back and do some hard 4 milers and a few 6 milers ? I haven't been training very hard - 3 times a week on average.
Please help, I need your advice Forumites!


  • Hi Daisy you lazy old dog you!

    It doesn't seem 5 minutes since you were feeling litle and scared and then went and ran 13 miles in 2hr10! That doesn't just go away - maybe you just needed a break. I haven't run the full 1/2m distance yet and probably won't before Windsor but I ran the GSR yesterday and kept up my 10 min miles so am feeling confident.

    Like you, I only run 3 times a week but I know I've got the stamina to go the full distance so I'm sure you have too.

    I don't think you need to run the distance again before the event. Why not just concentrate on some speedwork or hill repeats? That's what I'm doing.

    There's nothing wrong with you. It just sounds as if you've overtrained and needed to rest for a while - anyway, yoga is good for you.

    Don't get down about it. Just try and focus again and I'll see you at Windosr.

    Good Luck

  • According to Hal Higdon's 1/2marathon schedule, your max long run should be 10 miles - so you're way ahead of the game already. You know you can do the distance and it's just three weeks away, so I'm sure you'll be fine. On the day you'll have the crowds, the excitement etc - you'll cruise it.

    Also, running a 1/2m *is* scary (first time or not), which is why not many people have the guts to do it. Would have said ba**s, but I guess that doesn't apply in this case!
  • Hi Daisy - its not unusual to have a down - I did two weeks ago - posted here and got nagged - did 21m last week so it worked.

    Two things I have stopped worrying about my time every time I run and I make the time on my runs to look around and enjoy being out. Finally I use the "I'm just going for a walk and will see how I feel" self delusion - works for me :-)

    Good luck with the half - it sounds like you are well prepared so stop worrying so much
  • come on DD - get out there!!

    i have no doubt that you'll finish, but if you put in the extra three weeks of training you'll have a much better experience :-)

    remember i was doing all those runs in the intervening three weeks?...well the budapest half mara on sep 1 could still have done with an extra few training runs, to move from an ordeal to an experience, so with that in mind it's time for me (and you) to knuckle down!!!

    come on!!
  • DD, I did the GNR last year as my first 1/2M, I trained 3 to 4 times a week and did an average of 25/30 miles a week with my biggest run of 10 miles. The crowd, the atmosphere and sheer bloody mindedness carried me round and I loved every 1.53 mins of it.
    Windsor will be my 2nd 1/2M and only my 3rd race, Training is going soooooooooooo badly, my body is falling apart, and I too struggle to get motivated for the required training runs, but I think that the only person you have to answer to is YOU!!
    you are the one who will know after windsor if you have run a realy good race, or could have done better, so take a good look in the mirror, and decide what you want to achieve and how you are gonna do it, you still have time if you want, to reach your goal.
    C U at Windsor and good luck
  • Daisy

    That feeling never goes away, but feeling apprehensive is all part of the excitement and adrenaline buzz to racing.

    However, feeling nervous or apprehensive is one thing, skipping training suggests its a bit more deep seated and it could be that your just not ready (mentally) for half-marathon training - it is after all a long way and quite uncomfortable. Why not downsize your training and work towards a five miler or 10k - that way you only really need to do one medium length run a week (6-8 miles) and 2-3 shorter ones. Its much easier to get out the door if your planning 'only' 3-4 miles. Also it could be that you need the drive of either a partner or a club to ease you through one or two sessions a week.

    Ultimately though, you don't HAVE to race, running like any other sport should be primarily for fun. Runnning fast, running PB's is also fun but can become clogging and often the best solution is either to run for fun for a few months or to mix in another sport to add some variety.

  • Thanks guys

    Lots of food for thought. If I take Legless' advice and look in the mirror the truth is that a half's not really a priority for me at the moment. Life's really busy just now and I don't really care that much and I wish hadn't entered (is that heresy?) But I am really looking forward to meeting other Forumites in the flesh. And I'll probably have a good time on the day.
    Tim's got a good point too - I don't think I have ever regretted a run I've done. And as Martin says - 13.1 miles is a bloody long way ...

    Thanks for your support everyone - I just need to get out there don't I and stop prevaricating. OK, next Saturday I'll do a last 13 miler and then I'll start tapering (yipee)
  • Thank you, thank you , thank you !

    As I'd said it on the Forums I felt honour bound to do a 13 miler this weekend. I decided if I did it today then the rest of the weekend would be mine.

    So I trotted off at 7.40 this morning and ran 13.1 miles. That simple. It wasn't a wonderful run but it had good moments and it's given me a flavour of how I might feel during the race. 7 - 9 miles are the worst for me - when you're quite tired but you've STILL got a decent run ahead of you. I took four or five walking breaks espically up my MONSTER hill - but the view from the top was beautiful. You can see three counties and it's so wild and quiet.

    And the best thing ? I ran the whole thing in 2hrs and 8 mins. I am SO PLEASED with myself (can you tell ?!!)

    So thanks for all your advice and encouragement. I'm sure I'll still be nervous but I know I will manage.

    Must post a thread for advice about tapering...!
  • well done Daisy dog, now with the extra adrenalin and all of us lot kicking you up the bum-how about a sub 2hr at windsor...................................................only a thought
  • Wow
    respeck DD.
  • Brilliant - well done DD
  • As you already know, I am in Germany. All of my runs are along routes that are very popülar with lots of other people, joggers and cyclists and roller-skaters. On the days I do not really feel like my usual 10kms, I find the motivation by wearing my England tee-shirt, resplendant with a huge Union Jack. Unmissable. This gives me all the incentive I need.
  • Hi DD

    I'm like you, excited and worried at the same time, and I also thought that I'd better attempt the distance before the big day.

    So this morning I ventured out to run 13.8 miles. I really struggled between 4-6 miles which is all uphill but as there was a nice long downhill stretch after that I felt much better between 6 and 11. However once I reached 11 my calves really tightened up so I ended up walking/stretching/runnining the last 2.8 miles.

    I ended up getting around in 2.27 which was a bummer as I'd got to 11 miles in 1.50. I had one stop en route prior to that and that was to go into a shop and buy some more water to drink. Any way well done on your run and hopefully I'll catch you up on the day!!

  • Hi Everyone

    Thanks for all your encouragement.

    I'm sure you'll feel a lot better GFB now that you've run the distance. And at least ou know how to pace yourself on the big day.

    See ya'll there
  • Well done DD and GFB. Is the big day Windsor Half? If yes, see you there
  • Strange isn't it? There can't be many other things that I enjoy so much while doing and after doing that I find so hard to motivate myself to go and do. It’s only because I’m running the Maidstone 10k at the weekend that I can force myself to train six days a week at the moment, and yet I’m enjoying every run. I’m finding that I can make myself go out for a “short run” which becomes a rather longer run once I’ve actually got myself out there.
  • I think you have found the "secret" to this running drug matter what the "experts" may say about over-training...if you are really enjoying your runs, no matter what distance, then you will continue to flourish and grow stronger. I start out each day to do my 10kms. and think, "I'm too old for this, I must be crazy", but once I get past the 3 kms. mark and my blood starts to circulate freely and my breathing becomes easy I know I will never stop running. Its almost the best part of being alive. So come snow , wind, or rain....I'll be out there.Good luck for the Maidstone 10 kms. I'll be thinking about you, and wishing you a good time, and an enjoyable outing..
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