Monday, June 18, 2012

My running companions Doubt, Fear and Worry

I have been rolling up miles at a substantial rate of 40+ a week for over four years now.  I have run a dozen marathons and battled through some truly treacherous training conditions and some fairly adverse race day scenarios. In the process, I've conquered Heartbreak Hill, Hospital Hill, the ultra-distance Bohemian Alps outside of Brainard, and battled a gritty wind in the starkly sublime Sandhills.  But it occurred  to me when the alarm went off this morning signaling me to get up for another early morning workout that it never changes.  What never changes is the fear, the doubt, and the nagging voice of negativity I hear in the back of my mind.  And if you run, every day you hear that and you choose to refute it. You renounce fear and uncertainty to embrace commitment and the courage to keep after it.

I think runners are a superstitious lot and, let's face it, mustering the will to go 26.2 is not an entirely rational endeavor. It is only in voicing these fears and articulating the bizarre subconscious monologue I have that I can see how truly vapid the unholy trinity of Doubt, Fear, and Worry are.  Here are some of their litany of concerns:

-Is today the day I blow an Achilles?

-Does my knee hurt because my patella is disintegrating?

-What if I face-plant out there?

-What if I just can't go today?

-That wind outside sounds stronger than 15 to 20 mph gusts. I wonder if it could blow a car into me.

-Could that tightness in my back be the beginnings of a ruptured disc?

And of course, -Am I in danger of being attacked by a Mountain Lion on this trail?

These fears are (mostly) silly, irrational, and easily dismissed when confronted for what they really are: excuses masquerading as reasons.

So to heck with it.  Today, tomorrow, and the next day, just like yesterday: let's go for a run!  And we'll leave Doubt, Fear and Worry behind.