Posted: November 2, 2011 at 7:00 am

This weekend. This weekend. This weekend! Gah! My very first half marathon is this weekend. So, you can imagine my concern when I woke up feeling absolutely horrid yesterday morning. Uh-oh.

Must. Not. Get. Sick.

As the day went on, I realized that I didn’t feel feverish and my morning congestion went away. I was simply left with a massive headache and intense lower back pain. I coerced Peter into giving me a long (and painful) massage last night and it seems to have helped. Now I just need to get caught up on the tons of sleep my body apparently craves. I’ve slept more than normal recently, but my body still feels exhausted and in need of more more more sleep. I sincerely hope I’m not fighting something off and wind up sick come this weekend. Eeep!

Although not getting sick isn’t the only concern I face with the race. On the whole, I feel well prepared and trust my training. I don’t doubt I can run the 13.1 miles and do so strongly. I do, however, wonder about a few other areas.

The Crowds

23,000 people will race the Savanna Rock N Roll Marathon and Half Marathon. 23,000! That sounds unreal to me! Every race I have done so far doesn’t have many crowds at all. How long will I feel like a packed sardine? How long will it take before I can find my stride? How will I manage finding Peter and the many other friends I plan to see at the race? How will I handle transportation to the race?!

Planned remedy: Use the crowds for energy! Also, plan ahead for race morning travel with lots of extra time and have set meeting places for post-race.

Loop vs Out and Back

I run all of my runs in an out and back fashion. We don’t have any areas that allow for going down various streets that connect for a nice loop. My area isn’t uber runner friendly. I actually like the out and back paths though because, mentally, I feel stronger with a mental image of what to expect on the remainder of my run. Sometimes, I have felt discouraged not knowing what lay ahead or exactly how much longer I have in other races.

Planned remedy: Study the course map beforehand and enjoy the scenery and bands along the way!



I’m not very good reading a coarse elevation map. I do know that almost all of my long runs happened on a running pathway that has only one moderate hill and a few small hills. That looks like a pretty good, steady incline from mile 4.5 to mile 8…but only around 70 feet in elevation changes is nothing, right?

Planned remedy: Even if the run is hilly, I trained on killer hills many, many times during other runs of my training.


I feel so nervous that I will forget something key, like my shoes, and not realize it until I’m five hours away from home in Savannah. I’m pretty good at having a scattered brain…especially when packing in a hurry, which never fails to happen with two kids.

Planned remedy: Make a list. Do a mental run through of everything I need while checking my bags. And remember a huge race has a huge expo, if I do forget anything. Oh – and WEAR my shoes when traveling so I don’t leave those. Winking smile

Looking at my few concerns makes me feel better actually. I see I can have it somewhat under control and that what really matters, the running, will happen no matter what. I got this!!! Savannah, watch out. I’m ready!

  • What ways do you calm nerves before a big event?
  • Are you a well-planned or forgetful packer?

Tags: ,

78 Comments to “Concerned”
  1. Lauren says:

    I just read something this week that I couldn’t have agreed more with. “If you are not nervous before a race, you should be nervous that you’re not.” Soooo true! You will ROCK this thing girl! 🙂 Can’t wait to see your medal.

  2. Kac says:

    There were that many people at my first half – once you start though, it really doesn’t feel like it at all!

  3. Erica Sara says:

    Ahhh! I’m so excited for you! You will rock those 13.1 miles!
    Sounds like you could use a nice hot epsom salt bath to help with those muscles. I take several a week during training and closer to big races. Regarding the crowds, you will hardly notice them except for the incredible energy they bring. Just don’t let the people around you pace you- make sure to focus on your own pace so you don’t go out too fast!
    Have a great race- I can’t wait to stop by after to see how it went!

  4. You are going to rock it! I’m glad you’re not getting sick – sleep it up during the next few days!

    I am a very careful packer when it has something to do with a race. I double check and make lists like crazy!

  5. Kara says:

    Just make sure you start in the right corral. You’ll still be crammed in like a sardine, but it’s better if the other sardines aren’t slow.

    The elevation chart looks fine to me, nothing of note except whatever that is at 10.5 (do you go down to a sewer or something?)

    Drink lots of OJ and you’ll be fine by race day. 🙂

  6. Melissa says:

    I am super organized (think OCD) and the queen of list makers! Being organized calms me down and allows me to focus on an important pre-race task – getting in line at the port-a-potty!!! Have a great race, you never forget your first 😉

  7. You’ve got it in the bag! 23k is ALOT of runners but I think you will love the energy and feed right off of it! Just make sure to get there early enough to get in the right pacing spot – that will help you be able to get your stride and not be caught with people going too fast or too slow!
    And the no back and out issue…you won’t even notice, I promise…you’ll just see those mile signs and keep trucking!
    I’m no geography expert but the elevation shouldn’t be bad either – sometimes little hills help get the blood pumping more for me and actually bring me more energy!

    My biggest tip is to stay positive and when you get tired think of all the blessings in your life. Run a mile for each one 😉

    GOOD GOOD LUCK! So exciting!

  8. khushboo says:

    You are going to rock that..they don’t call it a ROCK ‘n’ Roll Race for nothing :)! I am a huge list-maker when it comes to packing…I’ve actually started saving my lists for future use–> saves the ‘am i forgetting something’ stress each time!

    Garmin, trainers, socks, hair tye, charged ipod, sports bra, shorts, tshirt, running fuel…to get you started!

  9. After training on these Georgia hills you are going to have NO problem! So exciting – you are going to ROCK this race. 🙂

  10. Heather says:

    I think you are in my head – I’m feeling the exact same way about my race this weekend!!! I haven’t even started packing yet!
    Just make sure you have all your running stuff and you’ll be fine. The other stuff isn’t as important, right? 😉

  11. yikes, packing is always stressful…i am always scared i’ll forget something! lists are the best things though, and always work in the event that i do forget…which will happen 🙂

  12. I hate those pre-race nerves!! And always have to go over and over everything I am going to need. I like the idea of wearing your shoes! I have been know to get all the way to Minnesota from Wisconsin and then realize I never brought ANY shoes let along workout ones…oops!

    I was for sure the calmest before my last race and the only reason I think that was the case was that I put zero pressure on myself. I packed days in advance and then just tried not to stress or even think about anything. I really noticed a huge difference from my previous races because of this mind set.

    And 23,000’s gonna be crazy! The largest I did was an 18,000 person race and it took us 25 minutes to just get over the start line for our corral?!? That might have been an oddity to that race tho?? Enjoy these last few pre-race days!!

  13. My biggest problem with packed races is that I tend to go out too fast. I just want to get away from everyone. You’re going to do great! The nervousness is a good thing. Use that energy in the race. 🙂 Can’t wait to hear how it goes.

  14. Lee says:

    It sort of depends on what Corral your in. If you’re in one of the back ones, it will probably take about a mile for it to thin out. That’s not to say that you’ll be stuck behind people walking, but you’ll probably have to do some weaving. I’m comparing it to the Publix GA marathon that has 10,000 people.

    I don’t understand how to read an elevation chart either, but for comparison, look at the first leg of the relay that I did on Sunday:

    It was hilly but not like OMG this is horrible hilly. Yours looks flatter than that so I don’t think you need to worry.

    Also, in regards to finding Peter, I’ve always managed to find Jason. You will probably not start until several minutes after the gun, so factor that into your estimated finish time. Also, don’t you run with your phone anyway?

    Good luck! Feel free to email me if you have more questions or concerns. I wish I was running it with you!

  15. jobo says:

    Writing it out all totally helps, doesn’t it?? I know you will rock this race (no pun intended hehe), but being farther from home of course makes it more stressful in case you forget something. I think it’s funny (not ha ha funny) that you like having a loop type route where you know what you are facing on the way back. I prefer not to! haha! (I also don’t know much about elevation maps and I hope the hills aren’t too evil!)

  16. If you could, driving or running the route REALLY helps. I was so thrown for a loop with my recent half b/c I didn’t know the course or what to expect from the hills. I get so incredibly nervous as a race nears, but find myself oddly calm the morning of the race (well, for the half marathons anyway).

    A race that large will give you so much energy – just be careful and not go out too fast b/c of it. So excited for you and can’t wait to read about it!! Wish I could be there.

  17. Just make sure to listen to your body this week. Sleep and food will should be your best friends! And I agree packing is the worst! I am notorious for waking up early the morning of the trip and packing everything in a rush. I would definitely make a list so you don’t forget anything. I always forget my toothbrush!

  18. Tina, you are going to be fine! You are very well trained and I have a feeling you are going to surprise yourself with an incredibly speedy time.

    As for the crowds, my 1st half marathon was Disney in January and the race was even larger than Savannah this weekend. Granted I was in the first corral, but it didn’t feel congested for more than a mile. In fact, my first mile was a sub 8:00. (Mistake on my part ;)).

    Also, know what your supporters are wearing or have them hold a brightly colored sign. You will be able to see them. 🙂

    I’m nervous for this weekend for the fact that I haven’t ran a double digit run since July- before my stress fracture. Saturday should be…um…interesting to say the least. Definitely not going for a PR.

    I can’t wait to see you again this weekend! You are going to do amazing. 🙂

  19. Diane says:

    I had almost the exact same concerns when I ran my half marathon!! The crowds were actually awesome (but do account for travel time and parking!). In fact, I’m now addicted to races because of that crowd energy! The hills? I was convinced, based on the elevation map, that I would not be able to finish the race because it was all uphill, but I got to the end and went “what hill?” (seriously, those crowds really push you forward!). And I did almost forget my shoes, but you’re right, there will be TONS of vendors so you can buy anything you forgot. And really, the most important thing you need is you and your legs!

    HAVE FUN!!

  20. Another forgetful packer/list maker here. I usually start making my list a few days ahead of time so I can make absolutely certain I don’t forget anything — especially when it comes to out of town races!

    As for the crowds, use them to your advantage! If they’re well organized (which, in my experience, the Rock & Roll events are), big races are SO MUCH FUN! There are spectators and more racers to draw energy from and enjoy the experience with.

    Enjoy your race weekend! 🙂

  21. Praying always takes my little nerves away! All the best 🙂

  22. I wish I had tips for you, but nerves act up too. Usually packing with a list ahead of time, eating healthfully the day before, and ensuring plenty of time to arrive on time make me feel a bit better. Everyone gets pre-race jitters, so try channeling that fear adrenaline into power adrenaline for the run. 🙂 You’ll do great!

    PS – kinda jealous… I really wish I had trained for that race!

  23. How fun that your first half is going to be so big– you’re going to love it. I think mine had about 150 runners, haha. It was good in its own way, but I’ve always wanted to run one of the huge rock n roll races!

    You’re going to rock it!!! And just think– nerves are good for making you run faster 🙂

  24. Karen says:

    Calm those fears! I have been told that it was basically a flat course. There may be an overpass or something but nothing even remotely like the hills in ATL.

    As for the crowds. You will probably have to weave a bit. Moreso if you are in a corral towards the back. It probably will tkae a few miles for the crowd to thin out and even then it probably won’t be as thin as you are used to with a smaller race.

    Just enjoy the moment. I usually don’t even run with an IPOD at these things so I can soak up the atmosphere. You will be done before you know it and wonder what you were worried about in the first place! 🙂

  25. Hilary says:

    Do not worry about the corwds. The energy is AMAZING! Trust me. I LOVED the crowds when I did the Toronto Waterfront Marathon last fall (also a biggie)…they are so supportive and it makes a huge difference! I would say I’;m a pretty good planner packer overall.

  26. You’re going to dominate that race.

    and the elevation, you’ll barely even notice that incline. 🙂

  27. Katherine says:

    Don’t be concerned about the crowds, I did a Disney Princess Half marathon and there were over 40,000 people, but it seemed less crowded than a recent half I did with only 2,000. More people running means more fans cheering, it will be so much fun! You’re going to rock it!

  28. Oh, I always get nervous before a race. Even 5k’s. And I definitely get packing anxiety. I am a meticulous packing planner, if not, I will forget something essential or overpack. You are going to do great! As far as the loop rather than out & back, there is going to be so much to see around you that you won’t even notice!

  29. Jess says:

    I’m SO glad you are physically feeling better and that mentally you are getting where you need to be to ROCK this race!! I am SO SO SO excited for you!!! Will be cheering you on from the “sidelines” all the way!!

  30. Amy Lauren says:

    Most of the really big races start people off in waves, so that will hopefully eliminate some of the crowding. I know a few people running Savannah and they have corrals so not all those people start at once. Also some are doing the marathon and others are doing the half. It might be crowded for the first mile or so, but that might not be a bad thing because it might help you start conservatively.

    I don’t think that incline is a big deal because it is over so many miles. I doubt you’ll notice it, honestly. I only notice hills when they’re out in front of me where I can see, until the next day anyway.

    You will totally rock the half! Enjoy the experience, it’s your first half so instant PR anyway :).

  31. I think you’re going to love the energy of such a big crowd 🙂

  32. I have only run the Toronto Half and it was the best experience of my life … the other runner’s energy carry you through!

    Half fun and enjoy as you cross the finish line …

    It is going to be the best … best of luck!

  33. I’m one of those people that makes lists for everything! I always want to feel prepared, so I understand your nervousness! My best advice is to take slow deep breaths and remind yourself that through God, all things are possible. Trust Him and everything will be great!

  34. Paige @ RAN says:

    I know some people will hate on this comment…but be very optimistic when choosing your corral. When I ran the Chicago Rock n Roll Half this past August, was I very optimistic (read: unrealistic) with my goal pace, but it made the race SO much better. And I didn’t hold anyone up at all. In fact, I think I may have started out with a pace that *was* unrealistic, and then hung back once I reached the second mile or so. Either way, GOOD luck!! You’ll rock it, tIna 🙂

  35. You are going to do great!! Lots of luck to you!

  36. You are going to do great!

    I always panic about forgetting something, but I always tell myself that there isn’t anything that I can’t pick up at a store where I’m going….although I would hate to have to buy something like a new iPod! haha!

  37. Fingers crossed for you that you don’t get sick! That actually happened to me right before my half last year. Wasn’t sick the entire year and then literally 2 days before sore throat which thankfully didn’t blow up into a full out cold until after the race. I think you’ve got most of your bases covered. I’m worried about the hill thing for mine too. I train on mostly flat areas and I think Philly has a few hills which scare me! I’m going to try watching a few running movies (hood to coast or something similar) before the race this time to motivate me/get me excited and try to calm the nerves. Maybe try that out?

  38. You’re going to rock it…no worries girl!!! Good luck!!

  39. Mac says:

    Hope you feel in tip-top shape come race day! Give your body rest so that it can build it’s strength back up to fight off the cold. The last couple weeks of the training plan is when most people get sick due to stress, so take it easy 🙂

  40. David H. says:

    The big crowds don’t seem so big once you’re there. You’re so spread out among difference paces that it’s very much like the start of a smaller race. Also, most races have about a 25% drop-off in finishers vs. people who registered, so the crowd will be a tad smaller than 23,000. But who’s really counting? Just remember to HAVE FUN!

  41. Christelle says:

    I wish I had tips for you, but I was the same way, I was so afraid I wouldn’t be able to sleep the night before, but I got about 6 hours, which is good for me. But as for packing, I make a list and check it like 5 times, set everything out the night before. It will all fall together in the end, you’ll be ready to go at the start line, and your going to rock it! Have fun and good luck 🙂

  42. Heidi says:

    You sound very prepared, enjoy the race!

  43. Liz says:

    Keep your nerves calm by not thinking too much about the race! You have been training for this for months, so your body knows what to do. Any extra thinking at this point is just wasted energy! Also, I think you will lie the energy of a big race. And crowds usually thin out pretty quickly, you’ll be surprised!

  44. I like your style. 🙂 Thinking through concerns and how to address them makes me feel immensely better. Even thinking through worst-case scenarios and “seeing” myself handle them is comforting to me. I am huge into lists, so yes, I would be making a list of what to bring and what needs to be done at what point… I hope you have a great experience this weekend. Get the sleep you need this week. I truly think our bodies know when we need more and we should give it what it needs as much as possible. I have been to some crowded races, and in my experience, it thins out pretty quickly.

  45. Hey Tina! You are gonna do great and you have great plans in mind. With the Country Music Half I did (also a Rock ‘n’ Roll) the crowds didn’t thin out as much as I’d hoped. Although crowds can sometimes be annoying to get your pace going, sometimes they also benefit me because all I want to do is get around people which helps me run faster.
    Also do you have any plans for a blogger meet-up this weekend? I’ll be staying in Tybee but I’d love to see you if possible.

    • Tina says:

      There’s something going on that Michelle at Crazy Running Legs is organizing for Saturday night. I’m just going along for the ride, but email her. It’s an open group. 🙂

  46. I don’t know why I didn’t put two and two together, but two of my co-trainers at the gym are running the marathon portion of the Savannah! Small world!
    GOOD LUCK! you’re gonna do just awesome!!

  47. You’re going to do great in the half. You’ve got this!

    I’m an overplanner and have to make a list so that I don’t get so stressed out. It sounds like you’ve thought of everything. No need to worry!

  48. Oh I soooo hear ya on all of your worries! I am having flashbacks from my half marathons just reading this!

    Here’s some advice!
    1. With the crowds- don’t worry! I ran in a huge race for my first race and it wasn’t so scary. You’ll be in a corral most likely so it is going to be spaced out anyhow. Just really try not to weave in and out of people at the start. It wastes energy and isn’t worth it.

    2. As far as knowing the course- I’d look at the map and also know which water stations you plan to fuel at. There is nothing worse then taking a Gu with no water.

    Other than that- just relax. You totally have this in the bag! Nothing you forget can really be that much of an issue. As long as you have shoes, clothes and a bib, you’re golden.

  49. I always, always, always feel like I’m forgetting something for a race. it’s the worst terrifying feeling in the whole wide world.

    as for the crowded start line – it killed my time for my marathon this past weekend.. I was so stressed. however, I do think it may have forced me to pace myself in the beginning in order to keep my negative splits.

    you’re going to be fine! 🙂 don’t stress out… you’ll make yourself sick. you’ve trained well, and there’s nothing you can forget that will make you unable to run.

    yoooou gooottt thiiiiis! 😉

  50. Good luck Tina!! I remember running my first half and the feeling is amazing! You will rock this half!!

Leave a Reply




Catch Up With Recent Posts

Announcement Time

Posted: November 23, 2011 at 7:47 am

Well, I have had a whirlwind of a few weeks over here. I missed all of you so much! I can’t express enough gratitude for your patience while I got some important things sorted out. Some scary things. Are you ready for the announcement? Here goes! I will no longer be blogging at Faith Fitness […]

88 CommentsRead more →

Self-Love Reflection: The Road Not Taken

Posted: November 20, 2011 at 11:47 am

Hello FFF readers! Nice to meet ya! My name is Carissa and my husband and I blog at Fit2Flex.  Well, I blog…he consults! We are both certified personal trainers with a passion for healthy, active living and clean eating.  I am also studying to become a registered dietitian, a race announcer, and a runner.  Stop […]

24 CommentsRead more →

Healthier Eating For Kids

Posted: November 19, 2011 at 10:56 am

Thanks to Plum Organics for sponsoring my post about tips for baby feeding magic. What if you let baby choose what’s for dinner? Check out their cute "Quest for Yum!" video and see what happens! As parents, we want the best for our children. We help them to feel loved. We strive to teach them […]

14 CommentsRead more →


Posted: November 17, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Hey, everyone! I wanted to pop in and say I am working on some new and exciting changes.  As a result,I may not be posting as much during the coming week.  Please stay tuned for the big announcement! Love you all! And still feel free to find me on Twitter and Facebook for the time […]

21 CommentsRead more →

Where The Change Happens

Posted: November 16, 2011 at 7:54 am

It’s kind of funny. I become a certified personal trainer and the first workouts I turn to this week come from someone else. The book came in for me at the library last week and, after flipping through it, I couldn’t wait to give the circuits a go. Making The Cut includes a lot of […]

79 CommentsRead more →

From Beginning To End

Posted: November 15, 2011 at 11:53 am

Good morning! First off, thanks for the many congrats yesterday. Love you all bunches for the tons of support you have given me in so many things this year. I hope I can return a little bit of that love through this here blog as well. So yesterday I had my first parent-teacher “conference” for […]

55 CommentsRead more →