Today, I ran my first race in five-to-six ish years. It was a 10k cross-country run. Interestingly, I experienced the same old jitters that I used to have when I was more fanatic in the old non-dadbod days.
When I used to run races, I had a recurring dream: I would prepare for a marathon and whatever I did, I never actually managed to start. I got more and more frustrated until I woke up. I somehow felt the same OCD-like unease as I was preparing for the start, even if I was already at the right point after a thorough warming up.
Something that used to plague me in my more um.. active years, was pre-race jitters. Mind you, races were more meaningful then in terms of target times and PRs. Before important runs, I suddenly caught colds or sudden little pains that came out of nowhere. It is perfectly normal, just healthy pre-race stress. Today however, I felt the same and that made less sense. The only goal for today was to have a fun, if somewhat strenuous 10k.
In the last few months, there were two developments that um... accelerated my running regime. The first one is that my condition has somehow improved drastically over the last few months. I run longer and faster. I am nowhere near my old condition, but I am getting tougher and faster. Furthermore, I am turning forty this year. For the years 2016 and 2017 I set myself a goal: I intend to run my first marathon. I am not nearly there though. I set some subgoals in terms of speed, distance and being more fanatical in general. One of these goals for 2016 was to run several races, at least one of which should be a cross-country race.
I am unsure what caused today's pre-race jitters. Part of it may be that I made my first step into a very long and hard journey: that of becoming a marathon runner. Or maybe it was just the excitement of being a fanatic runner again. Although I am older (and heavier) now, one thing did not change though for my races: the pre-race stress.