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Distance Fear

Whether it’s a 5K, Half Marathon or an Ultra, the thought of the distance can really mess with your head.

I have a big goal of my own at the minute, I’m training for my first Ultra Marathon. As I started this week I realized that I have three months and no real training behind me. I somehow thought that I would start at the beginning of 2015 and that all will be okay.
Well, now my mind is filled with guilt, fear, stress and the realisation of the fact that I’m not sure if I’m ready. Will I get enough distance in my legs to be able to run for 59km? Will I get that first Marathon distance done, so that that won’t haunt me for too much longer.

Life can throw us completely off from the course we’ve planned and all of sudden all our plans are just spread around like candy from a broken bag. And that is the reason why that Marathon distance is haunting me. I was supposed to run it last year in Berlin, but life got in the way and now it’s reminding me of itself far too often.

For some reason that 42,2km is the mark of progress for me. The invisible line in the sand. But it’s just in my head. No one has said that I can or cannot do other distances without that one.
Since I started running I had this feeling that I might be good at running longer distances, especially off road. Mostly because it’s not so much about the speed (if you don’t want it to be) but rather about consistency.
I have no interest anymore with this “I must get faster” thing, that really made me feel like shit before, as I just didn’t feel that it was right for me. Stronger, yes, but faster, why?

I was thinking this fear of mine, probably shared by others too, today on my run. And all of sudden it hit me, I am afraid of the unknown. Nothing else.

I’m sure that my body is able to do all of what I have planned, but my mind keeps messing about. And that’s the scary part, getting your head in a gear that believes in itself. The longer you run, the more you peel layers of yourself.

At the moment, it’s all about the suffocating feeling of unknown. No one is making me do this, or even expecting me to do it. I’m the only one making myself feel this way, by not believing in myself. And there’s no reason for me to be this hard on myself. I know that I can do it, because when I run longer runs and go over that 10 to 15km I feel like I get into a meditative mode where it’s really easy to just keep going. Usually I start smiling like an idiot and just get on with this happy mode where nothing can stop me from doing what I love. So what is the reason in my head for not letting myself get to that place and just be happy?

It’s the unknown part of it. That’s it. Once we get to that next step, that one step more than before, we’re good. But before it’s just this big blurry cloud that makes us afraid.
It’s okay to be afraid, I keep reminding myself, as it means that I’m doing something important for me long term.

So from now on, I’ll try to talk to myself and apply some sense when the doubt kicks in, even yell at myself if that’s what is needed. But I’m not willing to give up on my dreams because of something as stupid as FEAR.