Got Those Race Day Blues!

It's a sunny Sunday morning here at TI basecamp. A beautiful sunny morning reminiscence of so many April Sunday mornings in past years where we have awoken early, and eaten at a specially-laid-on hotel breakfast at stupid-o'clock before catching the tube across London to Greenwich, where we would wait, butterflies in stomach, for the start of one of the nation's favourite running races... and today would have been no different... except it is...


This year, there is no April London Marathon, and there is the possibility that the rescheduled Autumn date may not go ahead, or may involve Elite-level athletes only. Across the country, there are thousands of runners awaking to their race day, with sadness in their heart, knowing that this could have been their day, their race, their moment to shine. We feel your pain! A number of our athletes were working towards London, some as their first ever marathon, and we have all had our A races, B races and training events cancelled or deferred until way off the horizon - runners, cyclists, swimmers, triathletes, duathletes, we are all facing a summer without that buzz.


"It's only a race!" cry the non-athletes, or those who have yet to be possessed by the obsession that carries us through all the hard training, and keeps us riding that rollercoaster year-after-year. But it isn't, it is so much more. We invest so much of ourselves into our training, scheduling our lives around that commitment for weeks, months and sometimes years at a time. We juggle our careers and our family commitments whilst planning our training and nutrition. Racing allows us to carry with us the dream of being better tomorrow than we are today, the possibility of actually reaching our potential in just one area of our lives, the chance to prove something to ourselves, or to reward ourselves for working so hard on our fitness, our bodies. Racing is at once both petrifying and exhilarating. We awake on race day feeling sick with nerves, but the excitement is immense. And there is nothing like the feeling you get when you cross that finish line. It's something like the adrenaline rush you get from riding a scary fairground ride. I felt it on my first marathon, I felt exactly the same on my 50th marathon, and doubtless will feel the same even when I am well into triple figures! Race day is special. (and maybe, I admit, quite addictive!!)


So to all you London Marathoners out there who are not currently toeing that start line, and to each and everyone who has had a race this season removed from the diary, please don't feel unjustified in feeling low right now. Yes, in the grand picture, there are much worse things happening all around us, but do not belittle the place that racing has in our lives, the role it plays in our mental as well as our physical well-being... acknowledge that sadness...


And if you are a non-athlete who has an athlete in their lives, I hope that after reading this you may cut them a little bit of slack... the blues are real.


Keep safe and well folks...


Lu


PS We are going to be looking at the whole realm of virtual challenges over the coming days - not a perfect replacement for the race-day buzz, but a good way of maintaining focus...new blog post to follow next week.

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