Paranoia Sets In

With less than a month to go before the race, the usual pre-race paranoia is starting to settle in.

Every run is one closer to making it to the start line without an injury. Each trip down a set of stairs is one less chance to fall and twist an ankle, or bruise a hip.

Scratchy throat? Ack – it’s strep for sure! Sore foot? Must be plantar fasciitis.

Except it probably isn’t.

A few stories

A couple of years ago I thought I broke my big toe about three weeks before the 2012 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. I was going out for a run and at the last minute I ran upstairs to grab my hat. Except I missed the step and kicked the tread hard instead. I couldn’t walk on that foot for two days. I was already writing the email to my supporters who had donated thousands of dollars towards the Fragile X Research Foundation of Canada. But as the days went on, it started feeling better, and a week after the little mishap, I was running again.

Less than two days before my first ever half marathon, the 2008 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon, I was sure that I was coming down with a bad cold. I was a mess…so mad that I was going to miss the race with the flu. I hit the pharmacy and took Cold F/X and tried every home remedy known to man. It turned out I didn’t get sick and I ran a strong first half marathon of my running career.

A week before the BMO Vancouver Marathon in 2011, I started having some weird foot pain. I kept it secret, but I was fearful that I might not finish the race if it got any worse. I was flying out to Vancouver on my own to run a marathon on my 40th birthday. I had been looking forward to that day for seven months. In the end, the foot was fine and I had a great race.

Relax. It’s normal

It’s natural to feel paranoid before your race. You’ve got a lot invested in one day and there are a whole bunch of things that have the potential to derail your plans. But you can’t let that paranoia get in the way of your training or stop you from working hard right up until the finish.

Relax. Continue your training. You’ll be fine.