So a week from today I will do my first race post stress fracture. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I am more frightened than excited. Some of you know I sustained this injury during a race. Last Mothers Day, I celebrated by crossing the Sporting Life 10km finish line broken. I have taken this last almost a year to learn a lot about myself. I changed my attitude towards training, nutrition, and what I think is most important to me. I continuously evaluate why I’m training, doing it for the love of being active vs. the “need” to complete each workout and feed some obsession. My eating habits have changed and I am happy with the additional weight I gained since that day in May.
Why am I afraid to race ? I don’t know. I still get scared to do intervals when I run. My sports psychologist acknowledged the trauma that injury did to my psyche and told me “that was then and this is now”. As much as that is not such a profound statement it is true to my situation. I am a different person in so many ways. I also don’t really care how fast I go. Yes, I do think I will always have a competitive streak in me and want to do my best, but I was putting a lot of stress on myself and my impression of who I was on my abilities to race.
My times in my 40’s got faster and I started placing top 3 in my category more than I didn’t. I think I became identified by that person and that is part of what fueled my unhealthy obsession with training. If I don’t get back to that sub 20 mins 5km time I won’t be upset. It will take a lot of hard training to get there again and given what I went through and how it has affected me mentally I’m not sure I need to be that fast again.
My new coach sent me this the other day and it also hit home.
My goal for this coming weekend at Around the Bay 5km is to finish the race without a stress fracture. Now really I know the chances of that are slim but that’s how scared I am after last year. I think once I have this first one over with I’ll have the confidence in myself and what I have been doing . As for my time, that will be secondary and I’m not going to be angry or upset with myself if I see a time I haven’t seen for a few years. I have still been slowly building back some fitness and my coach has been great at balancing his goals with my fears.
From here on in I will think positively , and be confident in my health and mental well being.
Here’s to new beginnings and putting old demons to rest.