Tuesday, April 12, 2011

*CHAR SHARES* Facing Racing Fear | It's Personal

Courage is knowing what not to fear” ~ Plato

The month of March was not good to me:

  • Illness and death of our beloved dog, Ladybug :(

  • Me backing out of the 6 Tunnels Half Marathon, so I could focus my energies on our sick dog.

  • Running and getting injured at the Laughlin Half Marathon (very rocky trail run)

As I was looking at my race schedule for the next few months. I felt something I had not felt before. Racing Fear. It was not nervousness, it was fear.

As a novice runner, I am still in the honeymoon phase of running and racing. Although I have had my share of grief, hurts and disappointments – I am still loving every moment of it.

However, the fear of getting injured again – stopped me dead in my tracks.  For a few moments, I never wanted to race, again - ever.  

The body pain and feeling of defeat that day at the Laughlin Half – is always on my mind. It is a feeling I never want to experience again, and will avoid at all costs. 

I KNOW I should of done better, but I didn’t. I KNOW I was prepared, but obviously – my body had other ideas. All of this has run through my mind, many times since that race day. 

The positive, that race has changed the way I prepare for a race.  It's changed how I view everything about my training, my recovery time and strength training. I have taken on a new direction in my training and for my recovery, that has already paid off in huge physical dividends. 

Today’s “CHAR SHARES” is about FEAR

After Laughlin, my initial thought was to scratch all the half marathon races this year, except for Vegas.  Actually....my initial thought was to scratch ALL my races for year, even Vegas. 

In my mind, I thought two things –

1) my body was not ready to run a Half Marathon RACE, again.  Vegas had to of been a fluke. 

2) I was scared to get hurt again. I had run 15+ miles several times on my long runs, training for the Laughlin Half. Yet, on race day – my hip popped at mile 8.

While my hip is healing at an incredible pace, the fear keeping me from believing I could run that distance again.

When I realized that one race was affecting me in such a negative way - I decided to re-train my brain and thought process.  

I have re-evaluated my race schedule and took the pressure off of myself

Some of the Half’s – will now be 10k’s

By this Fall, I have another Half or two. I will allow my body & mind to adapt and strengthen my muscles, where I am weak. Most importantly, I have to rebuild my confidence to believe I can run a Half Marathon race.  My confidence is not there, now.

While some believe I should run a bunch of Half Marathons to get over my fear. I think conquering fear is very personal. We all know within ourselves what provides us self-satisfaction. 

All in all – my goal is to race Vegas Rock ‘n Roll again, strong and confident.

Every other race is just a training run.

Other runners can think what they want, that I have thrown in the towel or not pushing myself hard enough. That is simply not true. Everyday, I have to face this fear of even stepping out my door to run. Everyday, I am left in wonderment if my hip will decide to give out on me, again.

Just yesterday, I conquered a demon - I ran on a trail.  As my feet hit that rocky trail - I will admit, my nerves went off the charts.  However, through good body sensing and positive affirmations, I was able to run that trail and feel very good after doing so. 

My fear has not stopped me.  It's changed me. 

I train and race differently, now.

How have you conquered your fear(s)? I would love to hear your story.

Live and Run Strong,

Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
Half-Marathoner, Business Blogger, Public Speaker & Hosts IMPACT Radio Channel
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