I’m a nervous guy for races. My old clubmates used to kid me, saying, “Joe has his game face on.” I’d smile but my face wouldn’t change. Now this is pretty silly. How I perform in a race is of little consequence except for me. (Except for the Club races where I might score and still regret the second place we got when our top three masters, of which I was the third, were 3 seconds out of first; the Healthy Kidney picture of me was taken while that very thought was in my head as I struggled to save every second I could.)

Anyway, here’s a video from Jack Daniels discussing nerves and how in his experience runners and nerves run the gamut. I cannot embed Flotrack videos, so you’ll just have to click through:
Jack Daniels on nerves.

This comes to mind because my first race since August and my accident is Sunday’s Scarsdale 15K. Here, I have no idea how I’ll perform. I’ve run the race twice, 54:26 in 2007 and 54:28 in 2008. But both times I was in pretty good shape with HMs beforehand. This time, I had some longish runs in which I finished and knew that, OK, I can handle 15K.

Tonight’s run was supposed to be easy, but I was pumped and ended up running at a pace for 7.5 that would get me under an hour on Sunday. Tomorrow will be very short, with a few strides. On a little speed work, the plan is to go out relaxed, not worrying about pace or position, and get into a groove for a fast second half. This is how I run HMs, always with a negative split.