Fearing the Long Run

Lately I have been talking a lot about fear and failure. These two topics have been on my mind a lot lately. Probably more than they should… But it is the reality of my training right now.

Despite all of my recent success I still cannot seem to get over the anxiety I face when I need to do a longer run. And the attempt at 6.50 miles only to have to bail after 2.50 really did not help. I did end up nailing that run but what little confidence I had slipped away. The past two weeks of good training hasn’t done enough to build my confidence back up.

I still fear the longer run. It is a fear that I cannot seem to shake. So far I have not let the fear take over. I still lace up and head out and I am completing the runs… But I just can’t shake it.

The last time I completed a training run that was more than 7.50 miles was April 2011. That is a very long time. Sure, I have completed one half and three 10 mile races since then. But a race is totally different from training. I can look at a race and view it as a one off… a short lived struggle.

Training is day in and day out. It is a daily grind. It is not a one time thing.

A longer distance race will only last from the moment you cross the start until the moment you cross the finish. But the training for that race is sometimes MONTHS of prep. It is weeks of running longer and putting in the miles.

I have had mild success with winging it for some of those longer distance races. But, at the same time, those races weren’t always about the running or the time. I know I can finish the races. I am stubborn enough to finish and I know that. Hell… I proved it when I ran my first half.

But the training scares me. The longer run scares me. Oddly enough, the longer run never scared me when I trained for my first half. I didn’t know any better and I had nothing to compare my training to. The fear started when the nausea started and I have struggled to move past that fear.

This week I have my first training run over 7.50 miles in years. And it scares the hell out of me. If I fail, I am not sure how I will handle it. I need the 8 mile run to go well. The thing that makes is probably making it worse is knowing that I have a lot riding on this run mentally.

See, my hope is that by finally completing this run that I will finally be able to STOP fearing the long run.

My battle with this run is all mental. I KNOW I am physically capable. My training has been consistent and I have felt good. There have been zero pains and there has been no nausea. I know I can do it. And more, importantly, I WANT to do it.

But I am still afraid

I have considered asking a friend to join me. Someone that will talk me out of my head. Someone that will be there for me.

But I need to do this one on my own. Every mile needs to be completed be me and me alone. I need to prove to myself that I can do it without help.

It will be an 8 mile mental battle but it needs to be a battle that I will win…

 

 

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