I don’t have nightmares often but I had a nightmare last night, where I was running the Tel Aviv Half Marathon, which is coming up one week from today, and things were getting really rough.
The course was very hilly with lots of turns, it was raining and snowing (although it doesn’t snow in Tel Aviv), I was slipping and falling every block, and because it was so cold I was wearing long pants, a coat and a hat.
I looked at my watch and I was averaging 07:00 Min/KM (11:15 Min/Mile) pace, and I was only on the 3rd KM (less than 2 miles).
I know I had this dream because I’m worried about the race.
Sure I’ve done the training, and I start tapering today, but that’s about all I’ve done.
There are things I haven’t figured out yet, and that are making me nervous:
• Race course: I hadn’t looked at the race course even though it’s been posted online for some time. To be honest, there’s not much to look at, Tel Aviv is mostly flat. Still, I usually check the course in advance and for my previous half marathon I drove through it to see how steep the hills were. This time I didn’t even check it until this morning, didn’t know if there were some hills, or lots of turns, or anything else that could make it difficult. Now that I’ve seen it, it doesn’t look bad at all.
• Getting to the race and parking: Normally I would drive, but for this race, the parking situation will be crazy, it’s a big race, there’s not a lot of parking around that area, and what parking there is will not only fill up fast but it’s a bit far from the start line. Not ideal conditions, and not something I want to deal with right before a race. So I don’t know if I’ll drive and deal with it, or ask a friend for a ride, or take the train.
• Bib pick up: There is no pick up on race morning, so I need to pick up my bib this week sometime between Sunday and Wednesday. Pick up is only in Tel Aviv (read: bad traffic to/from the city, and not a lot of parking), so I will have to go either during my lunch break (which will take much longer than my lunch break) or in the evening with my kids, which means even more traffic/crazy parking at that hour, or ask someone else to pick it up for me.
• Cold weather: I’m not used to the cold and I don’t deal well with it. I really don’t want to be cold before the race, but I won’t have the option to dress warm and then go put those clothes in my car since even if I do drive, parking will be far. I might do throwaway to solve that. And after the race I don’t know how long it will be until I can get back to the car and put on warmer clothes.
• Hot weather: I didn’t say my fears were rational. As much as I’m afraid of the cold, I’m afraid of it being too hot during the race and that affecting my performance/how I feel. The race doesn’t start until 8:00, that means I’ll be running until 9:45, it could be pretty warm by then.
• It will be crowded: There’s no way around the fact that this is a big race, and even hoping it will be very well organized (which is not a sure thing), it will get pretty crowded. The largest race I ran had about 1.500 participants, this race has around 40.000.. I can’t even deal with that number. (OK I just searched for that information, now I’m really freaking out! I thought it was about 20.000…)
• Bathroom situation: To put it simple, I need to pee right before I start running. It might be psychological but I can’t stand the feeling of an even slightly full bladder while running. So before a race I try to go pee at least twice, once when I get to the race and once right before the race or at least right before warming up. Not sure how that will work here, with 40.000 other participants.
• Running with my phone: Given the size of the race, logistics to get to/from the race, meeting friends, etc., I will need my phone with me. And the thought of running a half with a phone against my tights is just not appealing.
Have you ran any large races?