Runners run, runners train and runners race. It’s what we do. But here’s the truth – every time I stand on the start line, I’m scared as hell.
I’ve never been one for under achieving, and if I’m completely honest, if I know that I stand no chance of doing well, I’d rather not compete. This stands true for a whole host of things, from swimming to golf. I know this is a bad trait of mine, but I tend to stick to the things that I have been given a natural talent for – running, pool, football, badminton etc.
You know what they say, practice makes perfect. For any race, I train hard in an attempt to eliminate the chance under achievement. Yet still, when I stand on the start line, I have no feelings of nervous excitement – just fear that the next 40 minutes, 1 hour 20, 3 hours is going to be unpleasant, but worth it.
After the disappointment of London 2010, I raced once more in October that same year. Knowing how awful it felt to underachieve, I couldn’t blow my reprieve. No joke, for the Leigh 10k, that October, I reccy’d the course EIGHTEEN times, just to reduce the chance of a poor performance, in the hope that I’d fear the start line a little less. Finishing 19th felt great, but it was time for a break from racing. However, not racing meant I had no goals and slowly but surely, with nothing to train for, the inevitable happened.
I figure that racing for me is like mile reps. Neither are particularly pleasurable, yet the only way to overcome those fears are to confront them (and they will disappear).
What’s your biggest fear? Coming last? Getting injured? Getting caught short midway through the race?