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getting in touch with my inner colorado girl

Race nerves: Mt. Evans Ascent


If you’ve never been nervous before a big race I basically think you are not a human. It’s pretty normal to be nervous before races, and in fact I think sometimes nerves can help you dig deeper and find more strength to do your best! To be perfectly honest though I am beyond nervous for the Mt. Evans Ascent, which is oh tomorrow morning. I’m actually slightly terrified of this race. Why is this? Well, blame it on the altitude.

I’ve run a marathon before, I’ve run a half-marathon on trails, I’ve run 5Ks, relay races and 10 milers. When I toe the line at a race at any of these distances, I know that I have finished other similar races before and that I am capable of doing it. When I think about toeing the line at the Mt. Evans Ascent, on the other hand, it is completely unknown. Have I ever run a 14.5 mile race with 4,000 feet of elevation gain that finishes at 14,000 feet? No. And I have a feeling that running up a 14er is going to be markedly different than hiking up one!

375793_694679369898_1669014726_nI know I can hike 14ers – can I run them too?

I think this feeling of the unknown is kind of why I run in the first place though. To be a distance runner you have to kind of enjoy the challenge of trying something that sounds absolutely crazy to the normal person. I can attest that 95% of my coworkers think I’m semi-crazy.

I have no idea what tomorrow’s race might bring, but for now I’m just going to breathe and try to control what I can. I have my outfit picked out, I know what I’m eating for breakfast (oatmeal, banana and peanut butter GU), I bought my favorite Honey Stinger chews, I borrowed a Garmin for pacing from my friend Laci, and I’m eating a sensible dinner tonight and going to bed early. All I can do at this point is trust in my training and give Mt. Evans a shot tomorrow.

photo-8Trusting my training.

The only thing I ever ask of myself is to try the very best I can. As long as I give it my all tomorrow I will be proud of myself no matter the finish time. That’s what it’s all about anyway.

photo-6Cooper (on the right) will be there to cheer me on tomorrow! Pretty sure he’ll think I’ve done a great job no matter what.

And hey, at least the race is on Saturday morning so I still have the rest of the weekend to completely relax and recover from the race. Graham and I are heading up to Grand Lake after the race, the thought of which will definitely help provide some serious motivation for me tomorrow!

boating 6-13 014Shadow Mountain Res a few weekends ago.


Have you ever been nervous for a race before? 

How do you deal with race nerves?


Author: paulamahla

Typical Colorado girl that can't make up her mind. Trail running, hiking, climbing, camping, CrossFit, ultimate frisbee, and skiing? E, all of the above.

3 thoughts on “Race nerves: Mt. Evans Ascent

  1. Well…we just have to fast hike it, in running motions. That’s doable, right?!

    I spent the last week saying “yea, I run on Saturday”. It didn’t really sink in that Saturday is tomorrow until I read your post. Crap. May the freak out begin….

  2. Good Luck tomorrow! I am sure you will do great!

  3. Pingback: Race report: Mt. Evans Ascent | return to the motherland

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