Three weeks from now I plan to be enjoying a nap in a New York City hotel room. I am hoping it will be a nap that feels well-deserved, one of those sleeps where you lay down and take a moment to be proud of your run before you pass out. For two months the New York City Half Marathon has seemed like something in the distant future, but now it is seeming very real. We have passports, a hotel booked, a kennel booked for our dog. We even have dollar store St. Patrick’s gear to wear on race day. This is now real and when I think about it I get butterflies in my stomach.
Why do I get nervous about a run??? Seriously, is there anything more natural to be doing? No one will be looking at me, only a small number of people are even interested in my time, and I know that just completing a race is a big deal, no matter when I cross the finish line. And yet, even as I sit writing this the butterflies seem to be multiplying. I should note that my previous passion was horseback riding. Now there is a sport to be nervous about. Your partner is a 1,400 lb animal with his own ideas and agenda. When you compete you are in a ring by yourself, not lost in a sea of race shirts. And there is always the real possibility of really getting hurt. I don’t mean to downplay running injuries, I know they can be brutal and take far too long to heal. But falling off a 17 hand horse (that translates to REALLY BIG) still scares me more. (I will note one fall that wasn’t so bad. I came flying off at a show held at the RCMP grounds. When I managed to roll over a couple of handsome Mounties in full uniform were there to help me up. If you have to fall off, that is the type of help you want to get!) So given my background, shouldn’t this running in a race thing be a piece of cake for me?
Unfortunately I am just not that kind of person. New things make me nervous. And if running a race makes me nervous, running a race in a new city just increases my anxiety. I do know though that part of what I am feeling is excitement. Sometimes I think excitement and nerves are really just the same thing and it is all how you look at it. Either way, the countdown is on. This Ottawa girl is heading to the Big Apple, family in tow, to see the city in a way only runners can.