This morning I was in the pool with my training buddies and we were talking about the half marathon race coming up this weekend. It dawned on me when I did the 10K that I was going to do a half marathon and I was not ready! No, I was not.
To be honest, I was not in my right mind when I signed up for the race. My mental health has made life a bit of a struggle for me over the past few month. However, I had an up-swing and signed up for both the 10K and the half in the same day (the races are on different days). It wasn’t until after that I realized what I had done – I was not trained and I was not consistently training due to the swings. I’m on an online forum for people with bipolar disorder (I have not yet been formally diagnosed) and listed “sign up for running races” as one of the things not to do when in a manic state of mind. Mine was very mild compared to a lot of people’s examples, but to me at this moment, it feels pretty huge.
So here I am faced with the fact that in 4 days I will be racing my second running race this year. Last year I ran my first one… and here I am running two in one month! I have talked to my coach and we are using it as a training run. If I feel good, I will push it, but there really is no reason for me to push it at this point in time.
Anyway, I digress. So this morning I made a comment about how I’d love to be a faster runner. My training partner remarks something to the effect that I don’t push myself in running, which is why I am not faster. This really made me think while doing my laps. Did I really not push myself? Was I afraid of pushing myself? Then it dawned on me: I’m afraid of injuring myself. Last year I had an injury that seemed endless – the knee pain that just wouldn’t go away and was actually caused by my new dog. I have had many running-related injuries like that over my 6+ years as a triathlete. It is stressful, upsetting, annoying, draining, depressing, and painful to be injured like that for months at a time. The injuries usually occur at a time when I am increasing intensity and/or distance in my running. In the past many years, I have had heel spurs, stress fractures, runner’s knee, hip flexor pain, and ankle pain. I have spent very little time as a triathlete with no running injury. This has formed into a fear of injury for me. It is sad and it sucks, but my sub-conscious is a very strong part of me. It controls me more than I would like.
My training buddy and massage therapist thinks that it is all connected with my lower back imbalance. There is really only one thing that I have not consistently worked on in my training and that is strength training. I have come to this conclusion before. I think that I have made a good enough case to give it a try. My coach is going to help me out with all of this as well. He’s awesome!