A shot in the a**

This weekend I ran a race.

I love to train; I really, really don’t like to race. I’ve spoken before about my race anxiety and how I can spiral out of control in my fears and even throw up before race. I avoid races for the stress and the pressure I put on myself. I find it more draining emotionally than physically to race, and the reward is never attainable. I never *enjoy* the experience and even if I meet a time goal, I am already worried that the next time I might fail.

After describing this anxiety (and a few more symptoms), my Naturopathic doctor suggested I get a vitamin B12 shot. My lab results had shown I was low even with the oral supplement I was taking.

The results were amazing, and overnight. I had energy, I was calmer, I felt more stable and confident. My race went really, really well. My plan was not to look at my watch the whole race, and run an easy pace so that I never felt that things were uncomfortable. (Usually when I get uncomfortable I start to panic). I needed to run at least one race where I didn’t feel like I was ‘racing’ for a time or place.

My husband had calming advice before I left the house. He said I should run as though I was the only one on the road, doing my own workout. It was fun to be running along and then see crowds of people in my way!

The course was hilly but easier than I remember it from two years ago when I last ran this route. My coach was reassuring in that whatever happened it would be fine: I was running for me. I ran almost three minutes faster with less effort.

So with great support and some super vitamin B12 I was feeling a little like Lance Armstrong – without the scandal, money, and medals. Still, I did get a little something to take home with me.



36 thoughts on “A shot in the a**

  1. Great job on the race! I don’t run anymore, but I remember when I ran track in high school, I would get so nervous before a race, I’d usually have to go run to the bathroom when I was done–so much pent-up anxiety. 🙂

    • It’s a mental battlefield to wade through. People often say you get better by doing- which I also believe to be true- I just don’t like the doing. I liked the effect of the vB12 though. It really toned things done a bunch and I could cope like most everyone else standing at the start line: by going pee every 5 min before the start gun went off.

  2. Fantastic!
    And now you have a (not so) secret weapon so you can keep doing what you enjoy!
    I’m a big fan of oreo cookie/ben & jerry therapy.
    With extra insulin, of course.

    • It’s definitely a weapon in my mind. it is to be used with caution and discretion, for good or evil.
      It is much like B&J therapy as it takes the right constitution to fully benefit from its attributes.

  3. Congrats on your great race, and happy you found the cure for your pre-race anxiety. I don ‘t enjoy racing much either, and rarely sleep the night before, but once I’m out there I’m usually okay. I try not to worry too much anymore about my finish time and run according to how I feel, but it doesn’t always work. When it does, it’s golden! Good job on your three minute PR!

    • You’ve just proven to yourself you could have a golden run in your last 1/2 m. I’m really glad to have found the B12 and will continue to experiment with it; the difference was palpable. I know we get more comfortable by doing but a big difference for me was also how I felt after. There wasn’t the 2-3 days of getting rid of tension that had built up; it was just over and I was no longer emotionally churning.

  4. Congrats on your race! I love running and I don’t mind a race, but the commitment to train for one is tough these days. I’ve had to cut back on running because taekwondo is so leg muscle intensive that I was getting injured more often when doing heavy running in combination. Haven’t really looked into the B12 thing – might have to do that!

    • I love the training, but it’s a balance to not overdo it with other activities. I really like to strength train and do boot camp, but often this is just too hard on my body with all the running when I am in the thick of training.
      B12 is a huge boost — if you need it. I know not everyone has such immediate results because their bodies weren’t that depleted. I think you also can’t have too much because it’s water soluble and your body just processes out what it doesn’t need. I took it in liquid form without that much of a difference but the shot was much more easily absorbed and processed.

  5. That’s so great that it helped! I had some B12 injections a few years ago when my doctor discovered my levels were low. But alas, I didn’t notice any difference at all after even a few injections. So I will live vicariously through you!

    • Ha ha. I will vicariously solider on for us both! It’s true not everyone has the same reaction. When the dr did say that someone in a similar circumstance to myself had a very positive and overnight reaction I was skeptical. But over the course of the weekend (with stress, racing, and recovery) I found that I really did have a ton more energy and felt more balanced. I also talked a lot faster, but this has since slowed down, thankfully!

  6. Supercool. Congrats on your time — and not even realizing how fast you were running. Amazing. My man and I were joking recently that iron supplements are like legal blood doping for those of us with iron deficiencies, but now I have to look into the B12. Intriguing!

    • I am on heavy duty iron supplements and it has helped me wonders, but not completely. But really — do try out the B12 too. There are so many factors that contribute to good health/energy/well-being etc. that unfortunately we sometimes have to dose with more than just one good drug. 😉

  7. Yes. Lance Armstrong. I’ve thought about him recently too. hard to avoid him at the moment! It seems to be a question of where we draw the line. Racing rules say “here” and no further. Lance and others said: No, here. And at times
    put their lives at risk. Some died. I guess for me it wasn’t so much that he/they
    did or didn’t take this or that vitamin/plasma/whatever, but that he pressured others to use enhancers, then denied it,and then set about doing his best to ruin the lives of those that blew the whistle on him.
    So. To B12 or not to B12 – that’s the question. Whether it’s nobler to persuade others to do so, or not. Hmm. And how many of us have uses sugar or electrolytes as enhancers? It ain’t easy is it …

    • We all draw the line somewhere, and sometimes that line moves too. I think you have to live with your decisions, but forcing others to agree with those choices (or accusing them if they don’t) is well beyond sportsmanship in my view.
      The B12 was more a deficiency than an enhancement. It actually just brought me up to “normal” levels, whereas all this time I have been depleted, deficient, and running on fumes.
      Always an experiment…

  8. I’m really happy to hear that your race experience went better this time & I find it admirable that you continue to push yourself outside of your comfort zone.

    I wonder what’s under your anxiety. If it’s not too inconvenient, can you post links of the other times you’ve written more about this?

    I guess my interest stems from the fact that I walked a marathon once…. which involved walking 18 miles of one the year prior, and also walking some shorter races as practice….. and racing has always been a kind of high for me. I *would* feel some anxiety about the weather and the lines in the bathroom slowing me down….. but I mentally rehearsed that the last 6 miles would be pleasurable….and the odd thing is that it worked — they were euphoric…. but I suspect that that’s because we lucked out with good weather…… anyway….


    • My anxiety stems from the competition aspect of racing. I run with a bunch of gals who are much faster than me, and since we train together I expect myself to be as fast as them. I also feel like since I train *so* much there is external (actually internal) expectation that I will be a certain pace or time in my race. I’m definitely working through all this and trying to be really focused on *me*, not on the pressures I put on me. We’ll see how next time goes.
      Here’s a post I wrote about some of my race anxiety: https://irunibreathe.com/2013/02/08/wipe-out/

      Thanks for your comments!

    • I think the anxiety for me with racing is the expectations. I train with a bunch of gals who are really fast, so I expect myself to be as fast when we all run a race. I also have a belief that since I train so much there is an external (actually internal) expectation that I will run at a certain pace/time. It is all pressure I put on myself, but it can be hard to shake when we hard-wire ourselves a certain way. I’ve been told a few times that we get better at something by doing it (not avoiding it) so this first race of the year was a great first step. I really let go of a lot of expectations and it was much more enjoyable, and easier.

      Here’s a post I wrote about some of my race anxiety: https://irunibreathe.com/2013/02/08/wipe-out/

      Thanks for your comment! Congrats on walking a marathon. Running it was long enough, I can’t imagine how it was walking. Good for you.

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