Wipe out

I’d like to punch this day in the face. I’d punch yesterday as well, if it happened to come back.

I have been cranky and out of sorts. I thought it was because I was finally getting over my stomach flu and needing to feel normal. I was feeling antsy so I went for a run. It felt good to be moving again after almost 5 days and I didn’t feel as though I was going to keel over. Yay for feeling better! Then I started to pay attention to how I was running and got frustrated and upset that I wasn’t running fast enough and things hurt. I don’t want to hurt every time I go for a run. Stupid glute and hip pain.

I started thinking about races I have signed up for and how I don’t feel ready and how hilly the courses are. I have not trained on hills (due to my achilles injury) and I don’t feel ready. It doesn’t matter that the races are still weeks away; I am angry and frustrated that I am not ready for them today, and wasn’t ready yesterday.

I don’t know how fast I think I should be running. That’s the thing when you fight with yourself: you will never win.


I was overwhelmed with my husband needing to work more this week (international clients in town) and the kids being more temperamental. I don’t know why sometimes I can deal with things and sometimes I can’t. I’m sure everyone goes through this (women maybe more than men?), but when I am angry I am only focused on myself. Sorry, people, this is about me.

I don’t know what I want as help, or how to help myself. Distraction is good, but when I feel like I have lost control of even my own emotions not much distracts me. Remember the saying of ‘wherever you go, there you are?’ There are times when I’d like to punch that too. Or at very least somehow lobotomize from myself.

Golden Rule amended

In a version of the Golden Rule we know that we should also treat ourselves like we would treat a best friend. Certainly, I would probably be a lot more patient with someone else. Likely my reasoning would be that they are someone else and not me. It is hard to be patient and tolerant with myself when I don’t hurry up and figure things out.

When I was running I was also thinking about why I have such anxiety about running races. I decided that a race (timed, recorded, and measured) reminds me of what I cannot do. I will not run “x” distance in “y” minutes, even if I try. The specifics are moot and at best debatable, but that’s not the point. If I heard anyone else say this I would honestly tell them this was a pretty stupid way of thinking, about anything. I’m sure when my coach heard this he rolled his eyes, took a deep breath, and thought: “Whaaaaaatt?”

Sorry, Coach.

It comes down to what running gives me and what I take away from it. I love training and feeling fit. I love that the time I put into something gives me results. I don’t know why this is not enough. I know I stick with running because it is such a challenge for me to deal with. Looking back, I have had this type of performance anxiety all my life. I am determined to get through this mental block I have about my ability and running happens to be the avenue it’s taken. I know I so easily give up on myself. I know I easily feel overwhelmed with my own pressure.

The Hump: The Race (June 3, 2009)

Too many people! Too close! I have lost track of myself! What to do?

I am not the Wildebeest or the Gazelle. I’m not sure what I am. Maybe that’s the problem: I spend so much of my time convincing myself of what I am not that I can never really show myself what I am.

(Photo credit: candescent),  (Photo credit: cheerfulmonk), (Photo credit: webzer)

This is a personal post for me and I debated whether I wanted this published. We each have our own issues and anxieties, which may not always make sense to someone who cannot relate or connect to the feeling. Although they don’t always make sense — even to me — these are my feelings and I own them as such. Ideally, I would like to not own these feelings for much longer because frankly this is just a tiring drag.


19 thoughts on “Wipe out

  1. It’s good to get it out. And who knows, maybe someone will say something helpful.
    (Not me, obviously.)
    (Not so good at “helpful”)
    (But if you want to sit along the race path and laugh at the racer outfits while we eat cheeseburgers, I’m definitely your guy!)
    (I’m sure your outfits look fine.)

    • El Guapo,
      Thank you for your cheeseburger-inspired comments. It does help to get things out.
      I do dress well when I run. While I may not be fast I make sure I am not attracting unnecessary attention to myself by compromising my fashion sense.

  2. My dear friend…while your anxiety is your anxiety, trust me when I say I have all my own weird shit too. I freak out every single time I’m on the start line. I even get nervous before a workout because I’m scared that it will be a tough day and those hills will feel twice as long. We are very much alike in our self-doubt but still we keep at it and that has to count for a lot.

    • Ummmm. I thought the start line panic and nerves before a workout were simply par for the course that everyone felt. I thought that part was normal. My mantra for workouts is “You just have to finish.” Once the workout gets going I encourage myself further with “Make sure you don’t puke.”
      I agree that everyone has their strange and personalized versions of anxiety and self-doubt. I also know that by continuing to battle away I am at least a little bit ahead of giving in. I have not yet slid down to the level of “potato couch” and my workout pants still fit.

      • My demon comes in the form of self-sabotage. If I have a bad couple days of eating crap, then I don’t want to work out because it feels pointless. Or vice versa. I have just come out the other side of another bout of that.

  3. I think you’re pretty normal, especially as far as being a runner goes! I bet 90% of the runners I know have most of the same identical anxieties you speak of. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves, but just remember that we do it to ourselves. No one else out there really cares how fast we finish a race, or what we can’t do. Most non-runners I know are amazed at our accomplishments. Be patient. I think being injured really messes with our heads, too!

    • Thanks. I think it’s true that we put unnecessary pressures on ourselves. And perhaps being injured has made me lose a bit of my perspective.
      That being said, I do know that I have struggled with this all of my life and it’s really tired to my self-confidence, self-awareness, and self-worth. It’s worth it for me to keep plugging away at it if only for the reason that if I don’t do it here it will show up in some other aspect of my life.

  4. I want to punch the days too!!! In particular, the last five. I’m totally with you on race anxiety. Last night my neighbor was asking how many races I do in a year, 10, 15? More like two. I can’t handle the pressure. But races are all different and the more you do, the more you realize some are tough, some are fun times with friends, and some are your best day ever. The anxiety eventually goes away. As a friend told me yesterday as I was complaining about life, she said “trust that things will get better.” Those few words offered me a lot of comfort. Sending positive vibes your way!!!!

    • I didn’t realize you ran as few races as I did. Fortunately you have speed on your side! It’s true that it does get easier by doing; I have a friend who probably runs 15-20 races a year. She really enjoys it and thrives on it; always wanting to push herself more. I find the buildup and ordeal of it is enough to tire me out. I need to recover more mentally than physically usually when it’s all done.
      Hope you are feeling better, and things are starting to turn a corner. How’re things going?

      • I’m with you – the buildup of a race is hard enough mentally and physically. I’m actually going to blog about race anxiety tonight. I suffer greatly from it and your post let me know that I am not alone.

        I’m actually feeling about 80% better AND got to run today. YAY! My leg still isn’t 100% but it’s getting there. If I’m not doing something around the house or on the computer, I’m doing some deep hip opening exercises and they are helping. Thanks for asking! I’m just curious to see how Saturday goes. 🙂

      • Glad to hear it’s going better. It can take time, but it sounds like with your diligence and persistence you are improving! Yay!
        Looking forward to reading your post. I can psyche myself out about things so much it can really damage my experience and my race performance (obviously).

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