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  • Writer's pictureBetsy

The Waiting

The waiting is the hardest part

every day you see one more card

You take it on faith, you take it to the heart

The waiting is the hardest part

The above lyrics are from Tom Petty's song The Waiting (TP was born in Gainesville and we take his memory VERY seriously here - more about that in a later blog post) and I believe he is talking about waiting in the dating process to find a great partner, but this song always reminds me of what it feels like to have a race later in the day and needing to chill out for hours prior. This is exactly the situation in which I have placed myself today: racing this afternoon/evening at 5PM. This gives me all day to wait. And there is an art to waiting.

Here is an example of how two highly successful (think World Champions, American Record holders, Olympic Medalists) professional runners wait patiently for their evening/nighttime races:

Jenny Simpson and Emma Coburn pre-meet:

My day looks quite a bit different with specifics, but the idea is the same. I am obviously not in a hotel in Zurich waiting to run in a Diamond League meet, etc. (although that sounds pretty awesome!) I got up at a reasonable time (6:15AM), made some coffee, turned on the fireplace, had a light breakfast of rice cakes and peanut butter, stretched and read a bit (currently into A Gentleman in Moscow - highly recommend - a bit slow at the beginning, but picks up nicely - a good metaphor for a smart race strategy). Then I had some shoe fitting appointments👟 and deliveries📦 of orders here in town. I also had some inventory to adjust/update. Retail is mostly spreadsheets and organizing 😂

The rest of my day prior to the evening race will be pretty chill - more reading, hydrating (very into the Blueberry Pomegranate Immunity flavor of Nuun electrolyte tablets), light lunch and final snack three hours before race time (so, 2PM), more stretching and a hot shower to loosen up muscles (been having a lot of shoulder tightness lately) and then drive to Jacksonville (approximately 90 minutes). My race warm up takes me about 45-55 minutes and I like to leave a little extra time for traffic/parking, etc.

Aside from shoe fittings and deliveries and helping customers, I plan on race days being rather dull. This is by design. The racing is the most exciting art. But the waiting is still the hardest part.

Collecting your race gear the day/night before is a good trick to calm your nerves and creates fewer choices you need to make on race day. Shoes are the Escalante Racers by Altra. You can find them here:

and here:

Signing off to go put my feet up and hydrate - stay well, FitFooters!

:) Betsy

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