With today being Halloween/Hallow’s Eve and it being 17 terrifying days until I run the Gosport Half Marathon, I’m looking to find out what YOUR biggest running fears are.
Now, even though I’ve only been doing this long distance running stuff for a short period of time, I’ve managed to generate a ghoul-d number of ‘what ifs’, ‘what happens when…’ and ‘Am I ready for this?’ thoughts in my head. I had them all before running the Cardiff Half and it was brooming annoying. However, these are the top five fiendish fears I’m facing second time around:
1. Getting injured before the day
My niggling hip hasn’t actually niggled too much since I started to do pilates and a good deal of stretching before/after runs. However, I have a strong, spooking suspicion that I may have a shin splint in my left leg. This one I’ve mentioned before. I’ve tried freezing it, Epsom Salting it, massaging it, supporting it, resting it and giving it a strong talking to. I’ve bought myself a calf guard for the Half Marathon so hoping the support will help. I am pretty scared of training now though just in case it gets worse. I’m also yet to embark on my first night run… I’m a bit on the clumsy side and can see myself falling off the pavement or off my own feet… Or my broomstick. No one wants to be a hobblin’ goblin for their race do they?
2. Running the race
Grizzly bearing in mind this is my second Half Marathon, there’s a certain pressure… To beat my previous time. I don’t mean to bone because let’s be fear, there are so many people who can’t and wouldn’t even think to put on a pair of trainers and run for their lives for 13miles. I’m lucky. I’ve quizzed my cousin about the course and asked repeatedly if it’s a flat one. Considering I live in one of the hilliest places (and some of these Hills Have Eyes) there is, you’d think I wouldn’t mind hill running. As the course is inherently as flat as a Halloween pancake, I think my niggly hips might work better than they did in Cardiff.
3. Runners’ tummy
I’ve been pretty bloody unlucky as stomach glitches go, giving myself food poisoning on more than one occasion, lantern myself in awkward situations I’d care not to repeat. Avoiding Canteloupe Melons, drinking plenty of water and not eating out-of-date dairy products should keep my feeling pretty spritely. Need to get re-acquainted with running gels as well… Just in case. If anyone can recommend any I should try, I’m dying to change what I’m currently using. With over 2weeks to go, I could give something a spin. Always a bit horrified that something unpleasant might occur… Will have to run cross legged if I feel a stomach rumble.
4. Hitting the wall
I was frightful of this last time when we hit the 10mile mark, still with a hill and a half to cackle and a niggly hip/shin splint in toad. Thinking of what could be done differently this time, I’m not so sure. Do you ever get the feeling it’s more a mental c-hurdle than a physical one? Running with my swizzy running cousin might keep me bright, sparky and competitive as well as having some decent tunes in one ear should help. Anyone have a fabulous mantra to suggest? I haven’t settled on one yet but it needs to be dead good.
5. Not being as fresh faced as everyone else
Now, after the Cardiff Half, I was as far from fresh-faced as you could get. Some might say I was glowing as brightly as a Jack O’Lantern and was just as scary. My other half was looking particularly dandy (which happened frequently in our practice runs!) and remained so throughout the 13miles. I have a bad habit of comparing myself to those more elite and lightning-quick than I am and consequently am never entirely happy with my efforts. Fangfully, I’ve realised that this doesn’t matter. If I beat my time of 2hrs 20mins, even by a millisecond, I’ll be a happy pumpkin.
So, now I’ve shared and scared, it’s your turn! I’ll wrap this up by saying I’d like to put together a top 20 lists of things that horrify and keep you in fear as a runner. Now it’s YOUR TURN to get in the spirit & tell me your tales. I’ll put them all together in a future post & mention you!
And I’m sorry but not really sorry, for the hideous amount of Halloween puns…