Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Fighting the Fear

Fear is a funny thing, isn't it? Ever since I DNFed the C&O Canal 100 miler 2 years ago, I've been plagued with this little voice. The voice tells me that while I have completed a 100 miler before, the DNF makes that finish feel less valid. The little voice is pretty jerky, right?!

I've been looking for 100 milers that make sense in my running schedule and get me excited. Nothing has fit yet, but I might have found my race. My dad, who currently lives in Honolulu, will be moving much closer this fall when he moves to Tampa, FL. It'll be great to have him closer and of course, after he told me that, I immediately searched for races. I quickly found the Long Haul 100 miler, which is about an hour away from my dad's new place. He's got an extra bedroom and a car, meaning I'd have free accommodation and a ride to and from the race.


I talked with John and while he wishes I had a different desire (even just sticking to marathons would make him happier), he supports me signing up. Once that happened, I started to panic. I was just waiting for John's ask for me not to sign up to be the stop from me doing it and giving me an out. Without that, so many questions popped up. Who would pace me (I don't know anyone down there)? What would I do without my mom at this race (she'd likely stay home)? What if I really can't do it and the first one was a fluke?

Well, it's hard to answer those all. In terms of pacers, I could probably find someone local (via social media channels and ultra email list servs) to pace me. I wouldn't mind running with someone I don't know since we could spend hours getting to know each other. As for my mom? Well, as much as I wish she could be at every race I ever do, that's not plausible. She knows me so well and knows how to crew me like none other, but she won't be able to do that always. I'll just have to ask John to fill her shoes in terms of crewing.

Then comes the biggest question: can I really do it? When I attempted my first, I said I would have crawled to the finish if it was required. I had, maybe, a younger innocence and determination. After my DNF, and a recent string of races not going according to plan, my confidence as a runner isn't what it used to be. After setting running goals and achieving them for years and years, then having the opposite happen recently, it's still hard to set a lofty goal and not be scared. Not that being scared is bad. Being scared shows that it matters and is a challenge.

Maybe Tina Fey has confidence in me?!
So now, I stand on this ledge. If I jump and sign up, maybe my parachute will open and I'll succeed in completing another 100. If things don't go so well, I'll be face planting into the ground. But if I don't even try, I won't go on any sort of adventure and what kind of life is that? Here's to hoping I have the courage (or the alcohol-fueld confidence) to actually sign up!

2 comments: