The hour before road races start, my body develops what I call “my running coughs.”
My nose runs, I get into a fit of coughing attacks and it feels like my body attempts to vomit all my nerves out.
My coughing reminds me of John Coffee from the movie “The Green Mile.” It’s my way of vomiting up all my fears and nerves as a green mist, leaving my body.
It’s a mixture of excitement and fear pulsating through my body; the fight or flight syndrome at its peak.
I’m usually shivering at the starting line of each race paralyzed in fear, ready to vomit my guts out, screaming these 3 questions in my head:
- Will I manage the distance ahead of me? It’s too far!
- Will I come last & be humiliated? WTF am I so slow?
- Have I done enough training? It’s too late now!
2020 has felt that way for me. The uncertainty. The self-doubt. The fears. The anxiety. The question, “why is this happening?”
Some things are certain with every race:
- Water stops
- Road Marshalls
- Kilometer markings
That’s it! The rest is up to me.
I have no idea until I start running whether or not I’ll feel strong, or if I’ll trip on cat eyes or need the dreaded portaloo, or even hit the wall.
That’s why I get my running coughs. It’s the unknown which is both terrifying and exhilarating at the same time.
I haven’t run a race since Bobbies in February. I miss the pre-race adrenaline. That addictive sick sensation pumping through my body.
My running coughing attacks remind me that anything can happen. Anything.
But what the hell, run anyhow!