Monday, June 16, 2014

Fearing Fast

I set a PR today in the 10K, but I can do better.

While I want to write a race recap of the Salmon Run 2014, this new PR race, instead, I feel compelled to write about fear.

I was talking with a running friend yesterday about this very thing, and she commented that maybe I'm too nervous about starting out fast and bonking later, and that's exactly the truth.

Although I've "jogged" off and on since high school, I really started running back in 2008.  Immediately, a single mile was faster than my high school best.  Miles over distance, though? Those continued at a slower pace.  As recently as a year ago, my half-marathon time still hovered around the 12 min/mile mark.

Then, three things happened:
  1. I started doing speed work.
  2. I taught PE for a year and ran with my students weekly
  3. I stopped running races while pushing a stroller
Not so suddenly, I became faster. I dropped minutes - minutes, not just seconds - off my mile time, even over distance.

I know that I'm capable of running faster than I do, but I'm scared to run fast.

What if I put in a great mile at the beginning of a race and then have to walk so slowly later that I cancel out that fast mile? What if I get into the groove of running and fall and hurt myself? What if I twist my ankle?

That last question is the real stickler. I used to roll my ankle at least three times a year, spend time recovering, and then fall back into the same cycle.  After seeing a chiropractor last year and putting in some strength building exercises, my ankle is strong, but I still don't trust it. I don't trust my own body, and that what causes me to fear fast. What if my body fails me?  

After giving birth two year ago, I was in awe of what my body could accomplish, and that's still true.  So why am I still so afraid?

Maybe I'm afraid to hurt myself and not be able to take care of Ari or not be able to run for a long while?

Maybe I'm afraid of doing well and having to keep performing at that level?

I have a fear of failure and a fear of success at the same time.

I don't know what's at the heart of it, but I know that for myself and as an example to my son, I have to find a way to conquer this fear and move on with my running goals.

Next Race: Zooma Napa Valley
Goal Time: A New 10K PR...that's all I'll say for now...

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