Something I have struggled with during my training cycles (minus the ultra) has been the anxiety I feel before a tempo or speed workout. My inner monologue goes a little something like this:
A few hours before – “Ugh, intervals. You know you are never going to hit your goal pace, right? And if you do, it will be SO PAINFUL. It’s gonna get ugly.” *shakes head and murmurs* “mmm-mmm”
An hour before – “Seriously, why do I do this to myself?? Why don’t I just go out and run and not worry about the time? Enjoy the fresh air and the trees and feel one with the earth and all that crap! Who cares if I run my best marathon? Isn’t it more about just getting out there and finishing? And who invited the butterflies? This is so dumb! Get a grip!”
A few minutes before, as I am tying my laces – “This is the worst plan ever. Let’s just sit on the couch. Why am I so nervous?? No one cares how this goes! There is not one single soul that gives a shit!”
A few minutes in – “Ok, this is not so bad. Look, you are already halfway through your warm-up. No matter what happens, it will be over soon. Just give it what you got and we won’t be disappointed”
A few intervals in – “Wow, these are better than I thought they would be! Why was I worried, this is fuuuuuunnn!” *smiling and air drumming along to songs*
Final interval – “Last one!!!!Crank it lady, leave it all out here!” *turns up iPod, sings along in head “YOU GOT MY LOVE TO LEAN ON DARLING, THAT’S WHAT’S UP!”
A few minutes after, ecstatically checking off the day’s workout on the fridge calendar – “Man, I love this! I feel amazing, I will totally kick ass! Where are the bad guys, I am like freakin’ Wonder Woman over here! Nothing’s gonna stop this machine!!Yahhhhooooo!!!”
I repeat this roughly two times a week for the.whole.training.cycle. It never gets easier, it’s as if the knowledge that once I get out there I will be totally fine has to be relearned every time. I never feel less nervous -if anything, it gets worse over the course of the cycle because the workouts get more challenging and I worry even more about hitting my splits. I am like some sort of amnesiac runner. The only progress I have made on this front is that I actually still go for the run. It was feelings exactly like these that prevented me from running my senior year in high school. My older, wiser self now knows that if I ignore them and press on I will be rewarded with the double bliss whammy of a runner’s high and the relief that it is over. But I would still like to avoid the whole drama beforehand, it’s exhausting!
So asking for some help here –
Do you experience running anxiety?
How do you banish the demons?
Full Moon Run on the OC Boards next Saturday, September 29th!! Meet at 730p at 18th Street!