Sunday, December 13, 2009

Nervous... Good!

Day 110

Boston Qualifying Training. Friday. Tomorrow is Race day. Waking early, I enjoy a good breakfast, a 3 egg omelet, spinach, mushroom, bacon even a little cheese… it is good.

Jay also has an omelet, though his is an egg white omelet. Funny, I am standing there as the girl making the omelets calls out to Jay, Hey “egg white” your omelet is done. I laugh and tell Jay that he just got tagged with a new nick name, “Egg white”. He must have been a little sensitive to the new moniker as he calls me “Chubby”. Good to see we are keeping this light hearted.

I spend some of the morning working though I am on PTO. Again, emails and calls. Jay and I decide to go drive the course. We want to know what we are up against tomorrow. We learn a few things, 1) many of our friends who have told us this course is flat, do not know the meaning of flat. Though it is not as hilly as Alpharetta, it has numerous rises and several are deceptive long up hills, 2) it is a technical course with numerous turns and 3) we see what the last 5-6 miles looks like.

Though Jay is a little taken back by the grade, I know that we are good. Having trained in Alpharetta with the variety of hills we trained on, we will be good. I share with Jay that we will be running the tangents on the course, from one turn to the next, we will make a straight line.

A quick lunch and we hear from our friends, they have all arrived. A great group of athletes and friends. Hooking up in the hotel lobby, we all just relax. We sit in the lobby for almost 3 hours chatting about previous races, training, the race, the course, the holidays, family, expectations, hopes and fears.

It is the longest I have sat and done nothing in six months. Dinner plans are made and we break up heading to our rooms to get ready. There are 13 of us heading for dinner. The hostess was very accommodating and we are seated far sooner than expected.

As the time to the race draws near I find my mind racing, rather than my typical extroverted self, I am drawing inward. As a coach to both my sons footballs teams I have often found they too become quiet as game time approaches. I can see it in their faces. I would ask, “Are you nervous?” a slight pause, and a hesitant “Yes”. My response is always “Good, your supposed to be nervous!” the first time I shared this, my oldest was shocked. “Good, why good?” he asked. I told him, that being nervous was the way the body and mind prepared itself, that he was nervous because he wanted to perform well.

Now as I sit at the dinner table, I am engaged with the conversations, but inside, I am getting quiet. The time is drawing closer. I am becoming my twelve year old son. I want to do well.

Heading back to the Hotel there is talk about the weather, I am not concerned about the weather, I can not change the weather. Later as I lay in bed, think about the day ahead tomorrow. I consider the training, 437 miles of running, not one run day missed, I only missed a handful of swim workouts, my core workouts good, lifting, I could have done better, but I can not do anything about that now. My mind begins racing. I email my wife good night. Just before falling asleep, she replies, “Gooooooo Marinich’s, Have a great run. Try to enjoy it and focus on this race, not the next one”. My mind quiets and I fall asleep.

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