8k Race Jitters

The Rockville Rotary Twilight Runfest 8k is THIS Saturday! It’s that time of the week when I start getting butterflies.

I wasn’t sure what to expect my first race. It was that mix of excitement and fear of the unknown. Now that I know how to properly install a timing chip on my shoe, wear a race bib, and know the correct protocol for stopping at a water station on the course, I feel a bit more at ease.

timing chip

But this race is a whole different beast.

First of all, it’s an 8k. I ran 5 miles on Sunday, so I know I can complete the distance. I was feeling pretty good about it. That is until I reviewed the course map yesterday.

Rockville Twilight 8k course map



I looked at the map when I first registered back in May. At that point in time the race was too far out and I had no worries. My ego was like “Yeah, I got this! No problem. Pfft, piece of cake!” I think I was still on a high from my 5k success.

Now the panic is setting in.

Before, the difference between 3 miles and almost 5 miles didn’t seem like that far of a jump.

Now, it’s a HUGE leap.

I’m trying to construct a plan of attack. I think I just need to remember to take the course mile by mile. I have to focus on one step at a time as I’m out there sweating buckets and trying to catch my breath. Thinking about the entire course is only going to be a useless mind game. There should be a ton of crowd support (it’s one of the most popular races of the year in the DC area), so that should help some.

I probably should also stop looking at the map over and over. I’m only siking myself out more. Like when I think that watching a roller coaster over and over again will help convince me to ride. Ha, wrong!

My other big worry was the heat and humidity. Maryland Julys are like living in a swamp. Someone actually died a few years ago running this race, so I told myself (reluctantly) that if it was going to be sweltering hot that I might have to postpone this race for another year or choose a different one.

I did a huge jump for joy when I saw this:

Rockville Twilight 8k weather forecast


High: 83 degrees

Low: 67 degrees


I won the weather lottery!

Also, a ton of questions are popping in my head that I probably should have thought about weeks ago. Do I need to bring my own water bottle? What should I eat the day of since it’s a night race? Do I need fuel for five miles? Geez, there should be a manual on this kind of stuff!

Okay, time out.

Deep breath.

Breathe in. Breathe out.


Wow, I needed that.

I think I’m just a little bit scared because I’m doing this by myself. It’s always easier when you have a buddy there with you to encourage you and ease your fears.

On the other hand, I’ve never been a huge risk taker, so going out of my comfort zone will only help me in the end.

Now I just have to remind myself of that for the next four days.

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4 thoughts on “8k Race Jitters

  1. You’ve already figured out the answer, Megan. This race can’t defeat you unless you allow it to conquer you instead of you conquering the race. Deep breaths. Get plenty of rest and proper nutrition and you’ll breeze right through it!

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