Running With The Worry Monster

Posted on November 5, 2010

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We are nine days away from our ½ marathon run and needless to say we are nervous.  Now is the time we are asking ourselves, “Did we train enough?”  It’s a valid question since it’s our first half marathon and safety is of our utmost concern.  With every day that passes the awareness of our bodies and the feelings contained within are becoming more apparent.  The list continues to grow with compounding reservations and what was simply just going to be a long run has transformed itself into “The Worry Monster!”

There are certainly a number of things to worry about leading up to the race.  For example, the weather has become a topic of great concern.  Rain is already in the forecast and although we feel as though we could run in the rain, we do not have the proper attire to do so nor have we planned for it.  Weather plays a big factor in any race.  Cold, we know, numbs us and actually allows us to run much faster than normal, even when we feel as though we are going slower.  Heat, with the sun beating harshly on you, can slow you down quickly and easily bring you to your knees.  A nice cool breeze can make you feel as though you can run forever and where we have found we have run our fastest.  The rain mixed with the cruel cold air is another monster and one I am happy to live without. 

The second thing that worries us is possible injuries that we may sustain from now until the day of the race.  This has honestly been an ongoing worry since the day we started training.  Unfortunately, I had the wonderful experience of suffering from ankle tendonitis which subsequently sidelined me for two weeks.  I was much too eager with my training and just pushed too hard.  Of course I suffered the consequences, but in the end I appreciated the rest.  However, now is not the time for injuries.  I recently found out that a friend of mine will likely pull out of the ½ marathon because of an old injury that has resurfaced.  She is dejected, upset and frustrated, but, like any runner she is trying to push through the pain.  But, she knows she must listen to her body and if it says, “stop” she must stop. 

Other worries are developing as well and we are doing our best to fight them.  We are worried about getting enough sleep before the race, since we know on all of our previous races we never really slept at all.  In addition, we worry about starting a race at 7:15 AM, since every race we have run has started at 8:00 AM or later.  We know that running a race when you are tired is never fun and I speak from personal experience. 

Lastly, with the weather changing rapidly due to the numerous fronts that have pushed through the area, many people that surround us have been sick.  We know that catching something as simple as a cold within the next few days will be detrimental to our run.  We are basically in the final stretch with our last long run coming tomorrow.  But, the reality is that you cannot always prevent yourself from getting sick. Sure we take our vitamins and try to wash our hands as much as possible, but we know there is only so much we can do.  Every time one of us sneezes or coughs you can see the panic drape over our faces.  We know that if one of us goes down, so does the other, and we’re okay with that, but we both really don’t want it.  For now we just sit and wait impatiently.

All these factors combined with an unmentioned mixture of others provide a number of obstacles that we hope we will overcome.  The great thing is none of these worries are excuses not to run.  They are things that would prevent us from running, which, for us, would be heartbreaking.  We both want nothing more than to run this ½ marathon, come rain or come shine.  However, we have both told each other that no matter what happens from now until the race, there will always be other races to run.  We already have our eyes set on the next few ½ marathons approaching.  So for us, it’s not a matter of if we will ever run a ½ marathon, but rather, it’s a matter of when.  For now our biggest worry is overexcitement, because like little children we really can’t wait!

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