Before you read the actual blog post below, there is something I must say.
I wrote the following a few days before I ran my Half Marathon. I did not post this because although I wanted to believe the words, a part of me was still too scared to share what was going through my head. These words got into my head after I wrote this so, I decided not to post.
Why is it that we all are afraid to admit what scares us ? Even when we feel confident outwardly we still don’t share. So, my friends, I was sacred, scared enough not to share. I can’t let continuous fear hold me back, so here it goes… Read on, if you wish.
TRAINED WELL……WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF ?
If you have trained well, what are you afraid of ?
This question was posed the other day in a conversation when I was discussing my upcoming Half Marathon as well as my training the last few months.
I have put a lot of time into my training, truthfully, it has almost been to the point of obsession. I have never felt more focused in training than I have the last few months. I want to have my best run ever.
So, what am I afraid of ?
Well, for starters, I have run 5 previous Half Marathons. I was training for my 6 th when my Heart Attack Occurred. OK, well it didn’t happen while running but it happened a few weeks before my big race.
I know exactly what it takes to run 22 kms, 13.1 miles. I know the toll it can take on the body. I know how hard it can be mentally. The internal battles with every step. I know how the elements of weather can change and affect a persons body.
I am now doing this race knowing all of this and being aware that I have Heart Disease, that I am running with a 70 % blockage that was never surgically fixed. Let that sink in a bit. Not to mention the various other 70’s and 50’s you can see in the pics below.
It is like being told before you start something that you are already have a disadvantage. This is a a disadvantage that you must overcome and no one around you would know.
That part will never leave my head.
This is the farthest distance I will have run consistently in 2 years. My highest training mileage was 15 kms in the controlled environment of the Gym. Kinda protected I’d say, wouldn’t you ?
To be clear, I do not fear death.
I fear the headaches. I have been battling a small concussion for a few weeks now which has limited some running and other activities. They have subsided for the most part.
I do fear that as prepared as I am, that my heart could shut me down. Not another Heart Attack. I fear not being able to finish the race that I have been so dedicated to training for.
I mean, if my heart races too hard or the heat makes it too hard on my heart that I will have to pull out of the race. I will pull out.
It plays in my head that maybe I am not trained enough or that my heart may not quite be up to the challenge.
I fear my lack of emotion since my Heart Attack.
I fear the effect of my medications,
Let me explain.
Most of my training was has been at night, 12-16 hours after I have taken my medication, a couple hours before I take my night time meds.
I take medication that does suppress my heart rate and my blood pressure. I will have to take these within about an hour or two before my race. So what is the effect ?
I have trained my heart rate to be at a consistent 145- 150 beats per minute at night while running. Given that I am taking my meds so close to race time, it will seem like more work and most likely my heart rate during the race won’t exceed 125-130. I have done exercise on meds before but it has been a while, so, I truthfully don’t know how hard this could end up being.
My biggest fear ultimately is that I will let these thoughts get to me at some point during those 22 km. I am so afraid that I will allow these fears to overtake the strengths I know I have and ultimately make me give up out of fear.
So why write about this ? Because tonight and until I cross that finish line I am giving a big F YOU to these thoughts. Why ? Because I have let them control me the last few weeks. and I am taking control back, for me, for my goal.
So, to answer the question.
Today I fear nothing because I know I can do this. I have already beaten many challenges in the last 20 months and I will finish this race.
I will finish because I am strong, I am healthy, I am confident and I am trained as best I can. Let’s not forget… I am also…..
Pretty. Damn. Awesome.