Countdown to the Geneva Marathon

I will channel this happy runner on marathon day

The starting line of the Geneva Marathon is in sight and despite my best efforts, the pre-race anxiety has set in. It is sometimes called maranoia, that is, the fear of something going wrong before the marathon. And, it is in full force.

Today, I was at an event and a man started violently coughing and all I could think about was how angry I would be if I got sick as a result of his irresponsible germ-spreading. I carefully watched the door he touched as he left in a coughing fit and avoided it. No sympathy for this guy at all. I washed my hands thoroughly at the first opportunity.

I’m sure that every tiny muscle niggle is some sort of late onset running injury.

I lay awake at night wondering if I’m ready. Did I train enough? Should I have done one more 20 miler? What if that blister comes back?

Dear shoes, please don’t give me blisters on race day, k?

I have done this before. I know this anxiety is totally normal. It’s part of tapering. I have read countless articles about it and I totally get why it happens. But I’m still anxious. Tapering is like feeding a kid candy and then telling him to sit still. It is not easy.

At first, the tapering part of training is a huge relief. I remember thinking thank f*$% I can finally take a bit of a break. But as soon as I lay off the long runs, I worry that all the fitness I have amassed over the last 16 weeks is melting away and I’m turning into a weak ball of mush.

Speaking of mush, you know what doesn’t make your muscles strong? RUNNING. After four months of intense training, I was really up-in-my-own head about how strong I was. I decided I would go back to Grid, a tough HIIT class at my gym. I powered through the exercises, crushing rounds of weighted squats, lunges and box jumps. I smiled smugly as people around me took breaks and my super stamina kept me going. I am so f*cking good at this now, I thought to myself! But guess what? I was sore FOR DAYS after. It was as if I had never lifted a weight in my life. It was a humbling experience.

I wish I could have called this blog post How to Avoid Maranoia, but the fact of the matter is, I clearly have no idea. This isn’t my first rodeo. I know how to do this, and still, I am acting erratic, irrational and paranoid. Small things seem like BIG problems. God help me if something bad actually happens.

This is basically my life right now.

But here’s a comforting thought. When I look back at my training plan, I have absolutely nailed it. I have literally missed two workouts since January 9. I have diligently done my exercises prescribed by my physiotherapist, and I’ve even cut back on my wine drinking… somewhat willingly! I literally couldn’t have done anything else. I can’t not be ready for this race.

So, Geneva Marathon, I’m coming for you. See you in 11 days.


  1. Marie May 8, 2017 / 8:32 am

    I saw you in Geneva!!
    I ran behind you a moment so I saw your blog address!

    So cool!!

    I hope you had a good time (in every sense of the word) in Geneva!!!


    • thoughtsandpavement May 8, 2017 / 9:15 am

      Hi Marie! Thanks for taking a look at my blog! I wondered if my sign on my back would generate any new visitors, or if everyone would just be too focused on running to care or remember! Your comment made my day. Had a great race, but I am in a world of pain today. Full recap coming soon! Stay tuned! How was your race??

      • Marie May 8, 2017 / 11:02 am

        HI Miranda!
        My race (1st marathon) went well, I achieved what I wanted (10k/hour) and did it with not too much pain, except in the head from kil34 to kil 41 !!
        A colleague of mine ran with me and I had nothing to think about but follow him, so I did.

        Today my bones are stiff but my muscles are not sore yet… I am worried about tomorrow 🙂

        I wish you a good recovery and look forward to your summary! (I subscribed to your blog now!!)

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