Monday, July 20, 2009

Nerves Build as Tely10 Training Enters Final Week

This is the last week leading up to the Tely 10 Mile Road Race next Sunday. I'm confident about finishing, but I'm starting to get nerves. I've only ever done 5k fun runs in the past and I made the mistake of looking at last year's times and comparing them to my guestimated runtime. My guess right now is that I'll be somewhere in the 1:45-2:15 time range. Which will put me solidly in the back of the pack. There are over 2000 people registered right now, which is a lot of people and in order to finish in the top half you'd need to run the 10 miles in about 90 minutes or less. That might be a good goal for next year, but its out of my reach for this Sunday. I need to focus on finishing and not worry about the time - whatever time I get will be a personal best and the slower it is the easier it will be to beat next year.

The race starts at 8am, but I usually run in the evenings, so starting yesterday, I've switched my runs from evenings to the mornings. I need to adjust to running earlier in the day as well as getting up a couple hours earlier. Of the four scheduled runs each week, I've been doing two of them on the treadmill. I started to feel the impact of running on the road on my knee, and the shock absorbing treadmill track does a lot to help that. After a couple weeks of half road/half treadmill runs the pressure in my knee is gone.

I have family coming to town from Friday to Sunday, which is great, but I'm a little worried that I'm not going to be able to spend a lot of time with them because I need to go to bed and get up early on the weekend. I'm not sure if they'll understand why I want to go to bed at 9:30 on Saturday night so I can get up at 5:30 on Sunday morning so I can place 1750th in a race with 2000 people.

Photo Credits: Tim Rast

Photo Captions: Scenes from a treadmill. No wonder people run outdoors.


  1. Hey Tim,

    Some pre-race tips:

    1. On one of your early (and very short) runs this week, start at the finish line, run the course backwards for about 3k and then turn around and run back to the finish. For the rest of the week, whenever nerves hit, visualise yourself crossing that line.

    2. Start hydrating and getting good sleep now. Drink like you've never drunk before all week. If you're hydrated from the get-go, you will be less likely to have legs of lead on Sunday. Leaden legs are often the result of a lack of water.

    3. Sleep well over the next five nights. You probably won't sleep well the night before the race. Few of us do. The sleep from the previous nights will be sufficient, though. Besides, on the night before the race, if you've been drinking enough, you'll have to get up at least once to pee :-)

    4. Plan your race strategy and don't change it. Figure out how fast you want to run each one-mile section and jot it down on your arm in indelible ink the night before. Run the race as you've trained for it. Don't change anything now!

    5. Run the first half slower than the second (pace yourself!) and be careful not to let the initial surge of the crowd haul you faster than you want to go. It is far better to start from behind and catch people than to lose your legs at mile 6.

    6. Start the race in the left-hand side of the pack at the start line. The sharp turn to the left onto Topsail Road is a bottleneck as everyone tries to stay right and take the short path. Go outside and you will be less likely to trip on anyone!

    7. Don't eat new foods or try new sports drinks on the day of the race!! Pulling out due to gastrointestinal problems is NOT a good feeling.

    8. Enjoy the cheering fans! Have fun with the sponges! Drink the water!

    9. Look for me and John at the finish! We'll keep an eye out for you as well. Oh! At the finish, pay attention to smiling and looking happy. They always take pictures there and it's nice to go down in history looking like a happy runner.

    10. There will likely be almost 3000 people running, so you will probably not be as far to the back as you think.

    Good luck!!

  2. Thanks Vicky - those are great suggestions. There's a kilometre or so of the race route that is part of my regular run course. When I run that kilometre normally its only 2 or 3 minutes from home, but on Sunday it will be 2 or 3 miles from the finish line. I like the idea of running from that section of the course to the finish line just to see what to expect and to break my pattern. I have a feeling that that part of the race is going to feel like it takes forever after passing the fork in the road that leads home.


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