Just do it
2014 was the last time I had toed the line at a race. It had been a fairly good race but it was the beginning of an injury. I had gone through five doctors, PT exercises, X-rays, MRI, crutches, questions, and no answers. However recovery came and training began again. I had 9 speed or tempo workouts in my training log, but this little race had me almost in tears.
If a friend had looked me in the eye, I would have lost it. Me, at 36 years of age, scared of a no pressure local spring 5-mile race. With over 250 races on my resume including years as a competitive runner in high school and college and I was still worried that I wouldn't be able to survive the pain and have the mental toughness needed for this small race.
My coach had talked me through which shoes to wear and reminded me that there were no expectations. A friend that knows runners too well had felt my nervousness and said, "Relax and enjoy the race." I keep my eyes downward for fear that someone with see my terror.
As I reached the start line and continued my pre-race routine with strides. The weight and worry vanished. It just disappeared. Gone just like that. I felt the old me, the one that was fast and confident. Everything was right. My flats gave me smooth steps, my arms swung alongside, and my teammates were surrounding me. I was free. I was at home.
The race went by quickly as it always does. My splits were fairly even and faster than I expected. I was back in. I could toe the start line again and know I got this!
Keep stepping closer to what scares you and let the fear disappear.
Thanks to Joe, Vince, Beth, and Willow Street AC.