Sunday, May 11, 2014
I've got a secret to reveal.
Over the past month or so, I have somehow developed The Fear.
If you're a long-time runner of the long-distance variety, you'll likely struggle to remember The Fear. A 5k is something you do as a warm up, a 10k is a little jog and apart from those two distances everything else is measured in miles because kilometres are for wussies.
If you're a non-runner, however, 5k is an actual achievement. 10k, that's something you train for. Miles? Scary... 10 miles? How far is that even? Probably can't run that far.
When I joined my run club almost 2 years ago, I found the amazing power of having other runners around me to laugh at those shorter distances and carry me from kilometres to miles. Together we chatted our way through a 6 or 7 mile run and those voices in my head that had been so convinced that anything further than 5k was probably very difficult and shouldn't be attempted alone - well they couldn't be heard. I was busy sweating and chatting and seeking out muddy hills to conquer.
But with a few months off, I've allowed my brain to convince me again that those miles are pretty long. And because my body is a bit heavier and cumbersome than when I was in tip top marathon form, those kilometres feel that much harder. With my foot having healed over a month ago and the doc giving me an a-ok to run again, I've found it difficult to get over that Fear. Tuesday evening run club has been each week tempting me and frightening me and heck, I even gave up halfway through a 10k race the other weekend because I was scared of overdoing it. What's happened to me?!
But last week I went back to run club. I must admit, I texted my coach beforehand to get him to convince me to come back. We went 7 miles and we ran 7 hills. And uh, yeah. I was fine. And my coach said, you need to run with other people. You're not going to get anywhere on your own.
So Parkrun yesterday it was. And though I started at the back and finished towards the back too, it was wonderful. A 29 minute finish but heck I enjoyed it much more than dragging my doubtful mind around the block for 3 pathetic kilometres, telling myself I've completely lost my fitness all the way around.
My point is, whether you're starting from scratch as a runner or whether you've had an injury and been sent right back to the beginning again - don't be scared of the deep end. Jump in, but don't try and swim by yourself. Having others swimming alongside makes for a pretty good distraction and a wonderful current that'll carry your scaredy ass to its rightful potential.