Overcoming the 5K Ghosts

Despite my misgivings about whether to conform and run in a 5k or not… when a friend asked me to run with her in a 5k to raise money and support for Autism, I gladly agreed.

OK, I’ll explain my snarky opening- So, when you say that you like to run people automatically ask “So, have you run in a 5k?” Like that some how legitimizes you. Like, you can’t possibly be a runner and not have run in a 5k which is TOTALLY ANNOYING. Grrr.  Very Grrrrrr. So, after like the 10th person asked me I questioned if I even wanted to run in a 5k. It seemed like the pressure was on to perform, (which I hate,) to check another meaningless box on a bucket list and then brag about it after I did it… but then, I realized that I was only closing doors to myself, limiting what I could do and hiding behind the door of fear. I know I can run. I have been regularly running 4 and 5 miles so it wasn’t about the distance…  it was the fear.

Oh yes. I said FEAR. Because fear it was! Like I’ve said before in other posts, I used to run Cross Country in high school. I was not the fastest girl by any means on a team that was used to winning state and I just crumpled under the pressure. I remember having panic attacks and not being able to sleep the night before a race and hoping that I’d be able  to breathe while I ran. I remember praying to God that I wouldn’t get a cramp and be in last place. There were teams of girls from around the tri-state area at most meets and most of them were fast. It’s a humiliating thing to be in last place… I know, because it happened to me once.

What’s hilarious is that I’d LOVE to have had my [bad] times for the 5k in high school now! 😉

So when my friend Andrea asked me to do it with her and her sister, I had all my excuses in my head to tell her but found myself saying “Yes, I’d love to,” then stressing about it the whole next week.

and I did it. But then… I slept the night before. I didn’t have a panic attack…. and I wasn’t last.

For some people it’s about the distance as a whole, running in a 5k is a huge accomplishment. For me- it was the accomplishment of getting over my fear and terror of running and finally running for the sheer love of it. Chasing away the remaining ghosts of my running past and declaring it to be a new day. I am a runner. I am a runner. I am a runner.

  • http://www.facebook.com/monicabjohnson Monica Johnson

    Congrats Heidi on facing your fear and rocking the race! So proud of you for taking that step and doing this! I’m wogging in a 5k this weekend… yes walk jogging for sure since I’m not as hardcore and trained up as you! Haha. Great job and thanks for the inspiration!

  • http://TheBusyNothings.com Heidi

    Thanks so much!!!!!!!!

  • nelle

    So good to read this. I just finished week 1 of the c25k and I feel good. I also am afraid to register for a 5k because what if I can’t do it, or what if I do come in last? I’m trying to tell myself that somebody has to come in last, who cares if it’s me? Just being able to actually run it would be a huge accomplishment because I’m just starting to run, so thanks for the inspiration.