Friday, March 19, 2010

Anxiety and running

So I’ve been running with some kind of consistency for the past two years now. I would think that I would feel comfortable whenever I knew I was going to for a run. But that is not the case. Every single time I run I think I am going to fail or I doubt my abilities. I just noticed on my Polar Heart Rate Monitor/Running watch that I have run over 250 miles since May of last year. It may not be a lot compared to a lot of other real runners, but it is more than I ever thought I could. And maybe that’s where this anxiety stems from. For 28 years I never had even a thought of trying to run for long distances. The only running I would do would be on a basketball court. Must be just force of habit to think that I cannot finish? Over the past two years, I have constantly pushed my limits with running. In 2008, my goal was to run a 5K and I was successful. In 2009, my goal was to run a 10K and maybe longer. I was able to get up to 15K in training, but couldn’t run the 15K race because of the damn H1N1 flu...grrr. And now this year...the marathon. I AM going to finish it in October. But till then before every run, a tiny part of me doubts my abilities to finish the training session. Whether it is tempo run or speed run, I am just not fully confident in myself. It is a very odd feeling. Normally I am confident in my life, but running constantly makes me question myself.

What do you think of this? Anyone have any suggestions or tips?


cj said...

if you ever get anxious, chunk up your runs. so a 6 mile run just turns into three 2mile runs. or a 10 mile run turns into two 5 mile runs. running is 90% mental, and whatever you can do to trick your brain helps!

markemmanuel said...

I get instances like that. Great athletes feeling self doubt and anxiety. Runner's World had an article of Kara Goucher's state of mind.

Times self-doubt flair up are usually after family gatherings. There's a lot of negative energy there. I tend to make me presence and keep it short before they say anything negative to me.

I did my first marathon because I wanted to prove to myself I can finish something and put the work into finishing well.

What do I do to get over the anxiety and self-doubt? More running. Sometimes, sometimes my brain finally convinces me stop but I negotiate with its dark side to do a brisk walk. I try to push back with more running. Then, I remind myself that I've done a 5k in the past or an 8k. I also start introducing a mantra/prayer to get me go break out of the funk and get back running. Positive self affirmation. Positive reminders. Giving negative vibes the positive middle finger. That's what I do.

deekin said...

Thanks guys for the support!
CJ - That is EXACTLY what I do when I start out my runs. I just think I have to get to the first 2 miles and then I'll go from there.
Mark - I read that Kara Goucher article in Runner's World too, and to be honest, I think it may have actually made my anxiety worse, LOL. She's a world-class runner and SHE'S having doubts? Man, I'm in trouble! haha. You are absolutely right with the MORE running idea. I normally don't like running more than 3 times a week, but maybe every so often I'll get a 4th shorter run in just to calm my nerves between bigger runs