Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Bad Case of the What-Ifs

Yesterday I had a two-a-day running day—no time for a long run this week, so that was the closest thing to it I could manage. The first run was great. One of those runs that reminds you why you love to run. The second run was… a run. Not a bad run. Not a great run. Probably more “junk miles” than anything else really. Didn’t feel great, but didn’t feel terrible. I only had time for 4.5 miles because I was meeting the Hubs for fro-yo (he had the name of the day and got 50% off his!! We couldn’t NOT go! I mean—seriously!) before he had a movie man-date with one of his friends. I did them in 43:30 for a 9:39 pace. Again, not great, but not bad. Definitely felt tired and my legs were screaming a tad, but nothing substantial. Sounds like an uneventful run, huh? Well, it was—physically. Mentally, however, not so much. I had a case of the “What Ifs”. A baaad case. For 43 minutes and 30 seconds I mentally berated myself with every running-what-if you can imagine.

What if I get hurt before the marathon?
What if it’s Boston-hot and I don’t even get to start?
What if I fall?
What if I don't even come close to finishing?
What if I come in dead last?
What if I eat too much? What if I don’t eat enough?
What if I drink too much? What if I don’t drink enough?
What if I eat crappy food the night before and have a tummy-freak out?
What if it doesn’t matter what I eat the night before and I have a tummy freak out?
What if I run really, really slow?
What if I hit “the wall”?
What if I hit “the wall” and can’t push through?
What if I can’t finish the marathon and all my friends and family will be there and see me fail?

I think you get it.

That word—FAIL. Gets me every time. It kept popping up, over and over and over.

WHAT IF I FAIL? Definitely the scariest part of setting a goal and really reaching for something you never thought you could do and making it an extremely PUBLIC goal.  

Eventually (after said fro yo which was most definitely eat BEFORE dinner) I calmed down and reminded myself it’ll all work out and it will be whatever it will be. But, I couldn’t shake the idea about all these negative nancy what ifs. Why do we never have a case of the POSITIVE what ifs?

What if I ROCK the marathon and run super fast and hard the whole time?

Or even a case of the REALISTIC what ifs?

What if all my hard work and training pays off and I have a really solid run and finish the marathon successfully?

Why do they always have to be NEGATIVE what ifs?

I’m going to make a conscious effort to STOP myself the next time I find myself in the middle of a what-if episode and try to remind myself that the odds of everything under the sun going WRONG are just as high as everything going RIGHT. I’m sure it’s not going to be an easy process to try to cure these what-ifs… but, it’s definitely worth a shot.

After my fro-yo induced what-if recovery I decided a $2 chesse pizza at the place next door to fro-yo sounded like the worlds best idea for dinner.

Pizza + icing my shins + a little Restaurant Impossible + reading other running blogs = Perfect end to the night.


  1. You will not fail! Positive thoughts, positive thoughts. You can do it, I know that you can.

    I am glad that someone is just as obsessed with fro-yo as me. I think you know you have a problem when you go to fro-yo by yourself. Yep, I officially admitted that I am a fro-yo addict. :-)

  2. AW! Thanks!!!! I know-- I gotta really work on the while power of positive thinking thing. I'll get there.

    And, OMG. I am BEYOND obsessed with fro yo. They had a Groupon for a local place once-- spend $5 for $10 of fro yo. I bought $60 worth. NO JOKE. The Hubs was THRILLED with me. :) I'm with you: fro yo addict and proud!