The fear of healing

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The other day I was driving to work and saw some people running. As I watched the runners I imagined them all falling down with injuries. I had visions of each of them rolling their ankle.

 

This last week of physical therapy we’ve made major progress. I’ve been able to do several exercises that a few weeks ago brought pain, the bad pain. This is good news. This means the tear is healing and my ankle is getting stronger.

 

I realize while my leg is getting stronger my mind has a ways to go.  Part of me feels satisfied not running again (ever) because I have this fear of injuring myself. What if….what if I do it again?

 

Once I’m fully healed the demons in my mind will be the biggest hurdle.

 

Fear is such a powerful thing. It is even more powerful when you imagine the injury and can still feel the pain. The pain in my leg but also the pain of not being able to do the things I love.

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Am I Afraid?

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I read a blog the other day that made me pause and reflect. A woman who ran the Disney Princess Half Marathon wrote it, it was her first half. Though she had been training for a finish time of around 2 hours, she actually finished about an hour after that. It bothered her, she wanted to find out if she really deserved the Corral A assignment. Immediately after the race, she signed up for a 20k and crossed the finish line in under two hours. (http://thefinalforty.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/race-recap-miles-for-music/)

 

Awesome right?

 

As I read the blog it occurred to me, I’ve never really run a race to prove I can make a goal time. I have pushed it on a few 5ks but it was just because I was feeling really good and really in the moment. But most important I just felt like running. So a question has been lingering, why haven’t I tried to break 2 hours on a half marathon? Based on my 5k time it should be well within my limits.

 

In previous blogs, I’ve written about how much I just enjoy getting out and running. I’ve also written about how much I enjoy running with new runners. But I recognize that the pace I run is really comfortable. I am so much in my comfort zone that I can knock out a sub 2:30 half marathon with virtually no training. Am I satisfied with being comfortable? Am I satisfied with simply enjoying every run? Or do I want something more?

 

Answering the question is a struggle. One thing really bothers me. Am I afraid to try? Am I simply afraid to set a goal time? Am I afraid I won’t be able to do it?

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I love running. I love the not so competitive atmosphere running offers. I love the friendship and camaraderie. As I struggle to answer the question I also wonder if chasing a time goal will make me lose the things that draw me to the sport. Or am I selling myself short by not challenging myself and trying?

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There are a few more races on my schedule for this year. I’ve got the Newport 10 miler in April and I’m going to sign up for a half (not sure which one) in the fall. I think it’s time to reassess what I really want to achieve from this sport. And maybe, even if it is for one race only, I should make a goal of getting a PR (for both the half and full marathon).