Sunday, April 18, 2010

Racing Bug

It is disappointing to think that at this very moment as I type there are people getting ready to line up at the starting line for the Run Rocklin 12k. I want nothing more than to be out there too, but i’m not. So why am I sitting here on my bum typing this instead of getting to run? I could use my hip as an excuse but it is actually feeling a lot better and besides being a little tight is almost back to normal. ( Thank you Jesus )

So the real reason I am not out there getting ready to race. Well sometime between December 08 and now I lost my running confidence. I keep thinking about all the things that could go wrong. I have even had trouble shaking this issue in my day to day runs and have a really hard time getting into rhythm. It usually takes me until about mile 4 to finally relax and go with the flow. Just in case you didn’t know, the key to running well in a race is being able to just relax. 

Running a race is one of the greatest feelings, especially when you win. I won my first race in Oct. of 2008. I was on top of the world. I ran a 10k (6.1 miles ) in 46 minutes. That is about a 7:24 mile per minute pace. That is turtle speed to any elite runner, but my training was not that of an elite runner, and the best part was that I had no idea I had that in me. It was just me and another girl neck and neck the whole race. I would be happy with second place. It would be a huge accomplishment, and I would get a cool little silver medal. But I also knew that if I was ever going to go all out and win a race that this was the time to do it. It was now or never.

It wasn’t until a mile to the finish line I noticed my fellow runner’s breathing became more labored. I stayed right next to her, tempted to speed up but decided to save my gas for the last straight to the finish line. We finally rounded the last curve and the finish line was in sight. Peddle to the metal, I kicked my legs into high gear and her footsteps and breathing seemed to fall farther and farther behind. I ran as fast as I could straight through to the finish line. Did I really just win? Is this a dream?

This was no dream and I had actually won, but this would be the last time for a long time that I would get to experience such a joy. I have only done two races since this event and the race I did after I experienced the most excruciating side ache I have ever experienced, failed to place and finished in 50 minutes. A whole 4 minutes slower. The next race I entered wasn’t so bad. I was second woman overall but the race was really on 5 miles, unorganized and no awards. Better luck next time.

My last run was in September of 09. It is time I get back into racing but I have to re-learn how to relax. I am terrified of doing worse than any previous race. Obviously it happens..but I hate when I am not able to do my best. I am afraid of doing horribly. This is the cause of my anxiety, and the anxiety is the cause of me doing horribly. I have to re-learn how to just relax and have fun. I wasn’t out to win when I won. So why can’t I just go out to run? Sigh…


  1. Well sister of mine, that is a quandary. I think it's going to be one of those things you just have to do. I get a similar anxiousness whenever I start a new graphic of any kind. I always have to ask myself, am I really any good? Can I really make this look, ok? Can I really come up with a solution for this? There are people that could do it 1000 times better than me, so what makes me think I can do it 'well'? I am gonna blow it, I know, it's gonna suck, now I'm stressed, and now I'm wasting time stressing about stressing about being anxious about sucking. I suck what am I doing (etc etc etc).
    All in all, we become capable of doing it, we just need to get ourselves out of the way. I love you sister, I know you can do it, if you just go out and do it. I can't wait till I get to see you. I miss you so much.

  2. That was my problem with running in my old days. I would get too anxious and couldn't relax so I would breathe heavy and get tired before my time. That's a whole other anxiety that Colin's talking about, that's not physical anxiety.

  3. We all have anxiety about doing well, passing a final exam, winning a race, being chosen for a job or a myriad number of other things that come up. Lay that anxiety at the feet of Jesus, ask Him to guide you. That very act of prayer and handing it over to Him is releasing. After that just go out there to have fun, enjoy the people, the day and do your best. The right mind set will help you to relax and you will run with the wind and with a smile on your face. Life isn't just about winning, it's really in how you play the game.