I’m trying really hard to get excited about the Space Coast Marathon this weekend, but it’s not quite taking. I feel like my training is a total fail, and therefore actually crossing the finish line is in question for me.
I mean, my longest run was 15 miles. I should be proud of that number, because it’s the farthest I’ve ever run, but… That’s terrifyingly short of anyone’s training recommendation that I can find on the old internet. I normally would be watching Spirit of the Marathon for inspiration right about now, but I feel more like Run Fatboy Run.
Normally right now, I’d be in full-blown blogging mode; laying out what I am going to wear, posting course information, travel plans and tips, but I haven’t had it in me. I’m too worn down with apprehension, self-doubt and a touch of self-flagellation. I want to finish, but the thought of potentially failing is daunting.
I know this is a totally toxic headspace for my race. I know it’s not inspirational or funny. But it’s honest.
They say you have to face your fears to defeat them, right? So what am I afraid of?
Not in the series I’ve never seen, sense, but rather I’m afraid of my body not getting me through. I’m afraid of the heat. I’m afraid of dehydration. I’m afraid of my calves cramping up.
I’mma Let You Finish
Wouldn’t that be great legs? If you let me finish? If you carried me all the way to the end of those 26.2 miles? I’m afraid you’re not strong enough and that my lack of training is what will let us both down. That’s on me, and I hate it. I feel like I’ve been trying to hide from myself these last 2 weeks (apparently at the bottom of a bag of Poutine Flavoured Chips), but everywhere I go, there I am.
I’ve never done this before. I don’t know what to expect. Seriously, I research and read a lot of stuff, but I think there are things that can go wrong that I don’t even know about and that freaks me the flip out.
I want to wear my Newton Lady Isaacs. I like them a lot. I feel faster in them. My toes don’t hurt in them. I’ve never run this far in them. My Nike Structure Triax I’ve worn a lot. Toe, and heel problems, but they’re familiar. What if I choose the wrong shoooooooes?
Letting People Down
I’m running this race with Greg and Rachael. My Dad and Step-mom are coming up from Palm Beach to see us run. What if I can’t keep going? I’ll be mad if the others stop too and I won’t be very fun company for anyone either way. I’m not running so that people will be proud of me, though. I’m running so that I’ll be proud of myself. And I’ll be really, REALLY disappointed in myself if I fail.
And that’s the real brunt of it.
All the rest of it aside, I don’t want to fail.
So how do I turn this around? How do I take those negative brain-worms and spin them into something resembling inspiration?
I Have A Cunning Plan
- Control what I Can: Hydrate. Wear cool clothing. Carry a cloth to soak at the water stations. Have family meet us with ice. Make easy to open packets of ENERGYbits doses.
- Set Micro-goals: I did 15 miles. Everything after 15 is a victory. My Goofy Training has me set to run 23 miles this Sunday. So, let’s just get that in, shall we? We’ll figure out the last 5K when the time comes. Or, barring that, I’ll be aiming for the next driveway, the next mail box, the next pebble.
- The Unknown: Relax. Why get so existential? It’s supposed to be fun.
- Wear the Newtons: Have family meet me at the halfway point with fresh socks and the Nikes. If I need them, they’re there.
- Letting People Down: Everyone’s got their own race to run. I should stop being such a narcissist. I’m not doing this for anyone but myself. Wait – that seems narcissistic. Should I be MORE of a narcissist? In this case, yes.
Whew. Thanks, Simon Pegg! That really slapped some sense into me.
How do you turn around negative thought, self doubt or fear?
I am an actor/writer/director based in Chicago, IL.