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Saturday, 10 September 2016

Overcoming "running anxiety" after injuries?

I've been through all this. I had 3-4 weeks of amazing, long runs. I felt great during and after every one of them. Because I trained hard, I listened to my body, I ate well and I just was happy and so proud of myself. I felt like a runner. These weeks were the most amazing ones I had during my whole marathon training. But after all my injuries and after these 4 good weeks I've had been sick for almost 2 weeks. I was so angry and depressed. I was always asking myself "Why does this happen to me now?". I gave so much time and sacrifices to my goal: the marathon.

So after 2 weeks I was back at running and the anxiety hit me. I was afraid of my pace (time per kilometer / mile), how my body was going to react to running. I was over-thinking everything. I was afraid of everything. I was afraid that I could get sick again or hurt myself again. I doubted myself everyday. I was sure - you are not going to run the marathon. It's not enough time.

But I read a lot about running and a lot of stories about people who trained for their first marathon. It motivates me to not give up. It is still hard. It's always going to be hard. The runs will hurt. The marathon will hurt. Running is not easy. But this is making it special and it's going to make me proud. Every run is harder because I'm facing failure every time. Kind of. Because I'm not as good as I was before my illness. But failure is only possible if I'm going to give up and I'm not going to be.

My goal is: to keep running, to stick to my plan. Maybe cry because It's a lot for my mind. This stress, all the running and the negatives thoughts I'm facing. But as long as I'm healthy I will be alright and I will get through this. I just want to enjoy the marathon. So I'm training. I don't care about my pace, my time. I want to be a "finisher". I want to say "I run a marathon and I did it all by myself without any kind of help". 

Because it's a fact for me. I've been realizing this. You are alone on your race. Two of my friends also going to run the marathon but they are much faster than me. I'm going to be alone on the marathon day, and I'm always alone on my training runs. I told my family to not be there at the start because I want to be alone. That's my choice. I want to focus on the marathon. These 4-5 hours. They will be there at the finish line and maybe somewhere at 20-30 km. I told them not to be there to early. I'm going to run but they don't have anything to do. So they don't have to keep looking for me. They can have a nice meal at a restaurant and cuddle me afterwards. And: give me a lot of chocolate BECAUSE THEN I DESERVE IT!

After my injuries I really need to keep that in mind. To focus on myself. To be proud. Not matter if I need 4 hours and 30 minutes as I planned or if I need 5 hours or more. It's my first marathon with 5 weeks I couldn't run and 2-3 weeks influenced by the injuries and 3 weeks of building up my pace and the lenght of my runs.

The most important thing is to run, to have long runs without caring about my speed. I want to challenge myself so I don't want to be slow but I'm not going to care if I'm slower than I was before my illness.

These are the runs I planned for the next 20 days until the marathon:
  • Sunday (11.09.): Half marathon (21,1km)
  • Monday: Rest day - just stretching and some pilates
  • Tuesday: another rest day because it's going to be really hot this day
  • Wednesday: 10k run (it's going to be hot as well, but I'm going to run at about 6pm)
  • Thursday: Rest day
  • Friday: 1 hour and 50 minutes run / or at least 16,2k
  • Satuday: my longest run - 31,195. Unfortnutly I needed to move my marathon preperation run because I needed to train first. I hope it's alright to have a run this long only 2 weeks before marathon - if not, I'm going to split this run into one 26k run and one 16,2k run (equals one marathon). Going to have my research on this. It's sad because I really wanted to have a marathon preperation run / or at 26k
  • Sunday: 7k run
  • Monday: Rest day - just stretching and some pilates
  • Tuesday: Rest day
  • Wednesday: 1 hour and 50 minutes run
  • Thursday: Rest day
  • Friday: 14k run
  • Saturday: 10k run
  • Sunday: 7k run - as you can see I slowly decrease my runs. They are getting shorter so my body can rest. Also I'm going to stretch a lot and have cold baths to recover
  • Monday: 10 minutes slow running, 5k fast running, 10 minutes slow running
  • Tuesday: Rest day
  • Wednesday: 30m running in marathon pace
  • Thursday: MY BIRTHDAY! So it's going to be rest day, I really hope this day motivates me to give my best because my whole family is going to be there.
  • Friday: 20m running in marathon pace and getting my marathon document
  • Saturday: Rest day - probably having an amazing day with my family and a bowl of healthy rye pasta with a selfmade tomatoe sauce and a lot of vegetables :) going to cologne later that evening because I'm sleeping at my sisters flat so I don't need to travel to Cologne on  marathon day
  • Sunday (02.10.): The day of the marathon. The day I've been waiting for 4-5 months. Many tears, many doubts, my hard training runs and a lot of time I've been spending on running. Going to get up at 6, have breakfast at 7, a banana at 8 and start running at 10 - for 4-5 hours. Hopefully I will be proud afterwards. I just need to think "Only 4:30-5:30 (in the worst case) are necessary to feel proud and happy These are 4-5 episode of Narcos or other kind of drama series. And I did had binch watched 3-4 episodes before ;)

I am going to do a running update every week and maybe after my long runs. Keep your fingers cross for me. There are 20 hard and long days ahead of me.

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