Race anxiety

We are less than one week until the Rock and Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon, which means we are in the sweet spot for total anxiety. What if I don’t finish? What if I fuck it up? What if I do it with all those people watching? What if I annoy my family or embarrass them or something stupid? Maybe I just shouldn’t go.

Really at this point it’s the money spent that keeps me going. Too late to cancel the race. Too late to cancel the hotel room. Time to just do the job and finish the race.

I know exactly what this is. I go through it for pretty much every social event. It’s the fear that everyone will stare at me and think I’m a freak and that nobody actually wants me around. A few of my friends have figured me out, and they call me an hour or two before a party or a talk or a session with a “But I’m going to be there so you have to come!”

I’ve been known to return the favor.

It doesn’t take much to set it off when I’m this close to a big event, and I’m well-aware that my usual anxiety meds probably can’t do the job against a fear the size of Texas.

My psychiatrist has me on strict orders that if I’m about to totally lose my shit, I go for a walk. All the running magazines say that before a really big race, I should rest my legs. These, as you may guess, conflict.

I’ve been resting my legs since a 5-mile walk on Sunday, which means I was primed and ready to blow by this afternoon. Instead of freaking out at someone, I went for a walk.

I went for a walk, and I got lost, and I walked 3.5 miles on my lunch “hour” that was a lot more than an hour because I couldn’t figure out which of the three trails to take and why are there no signs on the trails? And when I got back, I was as good as new. Well, as good as new for someone who was supposed to be resting her legs so her hips don’t fall off on mile eight anyway.

But I did what was good for me, which was the right thing to do, and which is still something I’m learning to do.

So now there’s a pain in my hip and four days to the race, and you know what? I’m going to get good and mad at it and I’m going to take that sucker down.

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