Despite how many runs I go for or how many races and events I add to that notch on my belt, I may always battle anxiety, jitters, and self-doubt the day prior to an event. The day before an event is when the Anti-Amy makes an appearance, and AA is currently in mode: full-bore with ill-intentions to wreak absolute havoc in my self-confidence.
Tomorrow is the 2018 Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR), and I am as ready as I possibly can be, yet I am still riddled with self-doubt about my potential performance. June 2017 was my first LETR, and I did not do as well as I would have liked to, and though I was not alone in that, I have carried the disappointment with me for a year now.
I have a list of reasons I did not do well, and though they have been sufficient for the last year, now that it’s the day before another LETR, I’m wondering if these are solid reasons, or have I been making excuses?
- Last year’s LETR was on a freakishly hot day, with equally as freakish humidity; I do not cope well with heat and humidity on any level, let alone of aberrant proportions.
- I did not carry water with me, and there are no water pit stops along the way, but the evidence van (which I have dubbed “the struggle bus”) that escorts runners is loaded with water; I chose not to drink it, however, because it’s kept very cold, and cold water, while immersed in heavy activity, gives me intolerable stomach pains.
- I did not have my iPod with me. Though this is seemingly so very minor in the grand scheme of things, the BPMs included in my workout playlist help me with finding a comfortable pace. Finally, and almost certainly, listening to music must be significantly better than listening to all of my thoughts of, “I can’t do this,” “quit,” or “this sucks.”
- I succumbed to Anti-Amy, and therefore, my self-doubt and negative thinking overshadowed and eventually overtook the version of myself that is typically dripping with positivity and affirmations.
So, in order to counteract last year’s follies, I have used the afore outlined reasons (or excuses) to devise a plan for a successful LETR 2.0, my second attempt at the Torch Run. I have a bottle of perfectly room temperature water, in my office, just waiting to quench my thirst. I have upgraded to AirPods, and I have groomed and perfected my running playlist. I will not be without water or music. The weather is entirely out of my control, but I’ve been checking up on it, and as of right now, it’s looking to be about 65 degrees Fahrenheit with a side of cloudy.
Finally, and probably what needs the most work: how to stuff Anti-Amy back down into the recesses of my brain. AA made a brief appearance this past weekend, as I was at the midway point (1.5 miles in) during the Safe Voices 5K, a fundraiser event for victims of domestic violence. However, amidst all of my self-deprecating thoughts, I still found a small opening for Amy to glimmer through. AA was hard on me because I had not run for 9 consecutive days prior to the 5K, and I left the gate already discouraged, thinking I would not improve on my 5K time from my first race of the year (Dash for Dogs, April 29th). Luckily, Amy stood her ground when faced with Anti-Amy and finished the 5K with a time improved by 1 minute and 15 seconds. It was again a freakishly hot and humid day, for June in Maine, but I survived the heat though I was quite uncomfortable, to say the least. So, I CAN do it.
Granted, the distance of our leg of the Torch Run is about six miles, double that of a 5K, but I’m going to keep it simple and focus on putting one foot in front of the other. If I have to climb into the struggle bus again this year, then so be it. My goal for this year is simply to do better than I did last year. Perhaps there truly are a plethora of reasons as to why I didn’t perform well last year, or maybe there is only one: I just didn’t have the will. If the latter is the truth, I have plenty of will this year. Underlying it all, the Law Enforcement Torch Run is for a good cause, and you can read about the LETR Maine here.
Wish me luck!