My Starting Point: IBM 10K

By: Shannon Presley

I started running about 6 years ago and in that time have run my fair share of races. I’ve traveled to New York and California to run as well as many races in Texas cities. Before those races, I’ve had feelings of anticipation, excitement and even doubt. But for the first time in those six years, I’m feeling nervous about a race. I am running the IBM 10k on October 7th. I am still two weeks out, yet have noticed recently that nerves have set in. I am wondering why? What’s changed?

I haven’t done much consistent racing and training over the past couple of years due to injury and other things and now I’m finally feeling fit and healthy. Perhaps subconsciously I anticipate another injury since it has happened repeatedly over the past few years – typically, at a time when training starts going well.

Could it just be the time? It’s almost like a first race again. I kinda feel as if I am entering into the unknown. I’m not sure how I’ll feel. What goal pace should I have in mind as I have no recent races to gauge from?

Am I putting too much pressure on myself with this one race? I believe IBM will be a good indication of where I am and what my racing year will be like. Well, what if it’s not good? What if my time is just really disappointing?

I’m not sure what the reason is, but I have to remind myself to let it go and follow the advice that I give to others: Run because you love to run, not only because you’re trying to hit a certain time, overly focused on paces and expectations. It has to be fun. I have to remind myself of how lucky I am to be running again. I’m healthy and training well, I need to focus on the enjoyment and satisfaction I get from running.

It’s easy to get bogged down in the negative as a runner, especially when what constitutes a “good or bad race” is determined with just a matter of seconds. So, I have to focus on the most basic reason that I do it– I love to run. Everything else will follow.



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