Friday, August 21, 2009

Fear of running

I had a really long day yesterday -- got to campus at 8 a.m. and didn't leave until 9:30 p.m. I had to eat all three meals there, and the third meal was more a few appetizers and dessert. I was "on" for a lot of the evening, so I sort of wore my socializing muscles out. I woke up this morning with a headache wanting to do nothing but sit and read magazines all day. I could barely make breakfast conversation with my husband, who was reading something aloud to me that sounded like a long string of facts and numbers. I couldn't even figure out what it was about so I finally told him what was up. He seemed to understand and stopped listing things. Plus I was dreading my run planned for today.

The half-marathon training plan I'm borrowing from has a range of miles, and today was a 12-14 mile run. I find it too hard to plan fixed-distance runs, so I just add a zero to the end of the mileage and do that number of minutes. I probably don't quite make the mileage range on these longer runs. My planned run for today was between 2 hours and 2 hours and 20 minutes.

That's a heck of a long run.

My fears ranged from the weird ("what if I break a leg?") to the not-so-weird ("what if I get halfway done, and can't make it back?"). I also had the headache to deal with. I did spend a little time in bed reading magazines after my husband left for cross-country practice, and then I decided to give it a try. The headache was better and I just wanted to get the run over with.

About 10 minutes in, I thought I might just do half an hour and call it a day. But I was listening to a "Speaking of Faith" podcast and there was something that made me think about whether I really needed to quit or whether I was just throwing in the towel because I was giving up because I was still afraid of how hard it was going to be. I decided it was the latter and kept going. I wanted to do at least 2 hours.

Toward the end of this run, every step was starting to hurt. I decided to call it quits at 2 hours, 10 minutes and walk the last 10 minutes. I have a few sore muscles now but other than that, I feel OK. It only took sitting and eating lunch for me to feel most of the way better. I plan to go for a short walk tonight to help loosen up the kinks a little.

I'm thinking that after this half marathon in October, I'm going to go back to training for shorter races for a while. I need some time to let running feel fun again.


  1. It's so difficult, isn't it? You're supposed to "listen to your body" but it's hard to tell if it's really the brain saying "I'm scard/don't wanna" or if it's genuinely too much at that moment. Hmmm.

    I'm in awe of that run... well done comrade :)

  2. seriously amazing run.
    I have a bit of the fear which Im LETTING manifest itself in the "Im old :) what if I hurt my knee" but youre right.

    fear---no matter the realm---is never a good thing.

    have a great week.


  3. Did the aches go away? I am afraid of running lately too. Just because my shin hurts so much, even when I walk, I am not sure how it will feel when I run.

  4. You amaze me :D I recently joined cross country to get fit and they split it into 3 different groups based on level. I was so slow that I could've made my own level... last one :( Bleh X.X my stomach and brain hurt just from thinking about cross country and it takes all my effort to drag myself there. By the way, I don't think I walk a lot, its just that I jog extremely slow, so that even the walking 3/4 time runners go past me :(


"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07