T minus three days, How to tame the butterflies
I really can't believe that I am less than three days away from my A-Race, my first 100km: the Hong Kong 100! We are flying to Hong Kong from Singapore (where we are currently based) on Friday morning and the race starts on Saturday morning.
"Freak out" number 1: I do wish that I could have flown at least a day earlier!!!!! but Luke has to attend a course on Thursday... So I will have to roll with it! Fortunately, the flight is fairly short (around 3 hours) and we are arriving mid-morning. I will make sure to wear compression garments while flying and also to stay on top of my hydration. It should be fine!
I am still "freaking out"! Even though I have been training super hard and well, under the expert guidance of my coach, Craig Percival ... I still have those doubts running through my head. You know the usual "I'm sure I could have done better, more, etc". Also, maybe I should have raced a few 50 milers (80km) first before going to the 100km distance... This is going to be a rude awakening...
But I decided these kinds of thoughts are just useless. I have followed my training program to a T, been running faster and longer than ever before, pushed myself to limits I never thought possible, smashed it in two races these past few months (read about one here )... I have also been eating a clean, nutritious, abundant whole foods plant based diet: I am in the best shape of my life! I have to trust the training, trust my body and over everything, trust that I will be able to keep pushing when it gets hard... which I know I can!
Freak out number 3: Yesterday, I finally received the official list of entrants: We will be more than 1800 runners from more than 50 countries. Amongst the "Elite" runners, which I am a part of, I saw some big names, girls that I look up to and that have been winning some major Ultras around the world. Definitely not their first 100km! My first reaction was to be even more freaked out (number 3!). The competitor in me wants to do well, wants to shine, be the best... But wait a minute: To be the best, you have the beat the best! This has always been my mantra and I will stick by it.
I do need to cut myself some slack: I have only been running seriously for less than 18 months AND this IS my first 100km! I am however such a competitive person that I just cannot have no expectation whatsoever. Again, I am definitely the only one who places this pressure on myself. A first is scary, but is also the best place to be in: you are the underdog. In a race, I am a hunter, I love to chase (the only kind of hunting I love!!!), it brings me so much excitement and joy! All I want for this race is to put myself in a position where I am strong enough in a later stage to be able to enjoy myself that way. Who knows what can happen?
After I quit short track speed skating in 2005, I always told myself that one day I would be competing again at an international level. I did not succeed at a second career in speed skating in 2009-2011 and did not enjoy bikini contests enough to even try harder... But now that I am toeing the line of such a big race, part of the Ultra Trail World Tour , as an Elite runner... It dawned on me that I am definitely realizing my dream!
Writing this post has definitely helped tame the butterflies currently living in my stomach. I am truly grateful (and yes, #blessed ahahah) to have the opportunity to run at a high level, compete in Hong Kong AND show the world that we can thrive on plants while helping the planet and the animals.
Thanks for being my sport psychologist by reading this post, I promise to update you after the race.
Always remember to #fuelpositive!
Peace and strength,