Running Demons

We have reached that point during Fall training season when things start to sink in and (sometimes) go awry.

Nagging pains become full-blown injuries.

Long runs don’t just take up a weekend morning, but the entire day because you need an ice bath, massive amounts of food, a nap, and a shower or two. Maybe not necessarily in that order.

I fully assume the position once I am clean and fed.

I fully assume the position once I am clean and fed.

Your nighttime plans are based on whether you need to get up at the crack for a run.

And worst of all (in my estimate), you start questioning EVERYTHING. Your training, your ability to fuel properly, the location of bathrooms on a long run, your coach, your choice of shoes, whether or not you’ll be able to actually finish a marathon or this morning’s long run…

Probably not the best time to have this thought but it happens EVERY TIME!

Probably not the best time to have this thought but it happens EVERY TIME!

…the running demons.

Running demons come from a fear of failure. It’s totally normal. Races are hard, sometimes long, and “we are all cowards at the start line” (Alberto Salazar). The key is not to let those demons get the best of you.

Getting out of your head is a lot like getting out of the door for a run.

  1. Stop overanalyzing it: put your shoes on and just start running.
  2. Run somewhere new: nothing distracts like being in a completely foreign setting.
  3. Go with friends: best distraction everrrrrrr. Added bonus: falling into step and not having to maintain your own pace.

I have known people who are paralyzed by their running demons so much that they get sick the night before long runs. That’s silly. Running shouldn’t stress you out like that. Gain some perspective, get a grip, and try to enjoy it.

Try your hardest and then let it go.

Try your hardest and then let it go.

Stop caring if you PR your long run (why is that a thing?).

Stop panicking when you can’t find your Garmin/it’s not charged/it dies mid-run.

Stop obsessing about the run that sucked.

Stop telling yourself “THIS run is going to suck” (it definitely will if you do).

STOP judging your abilities by one workout.

Try not to spend your time worrying about if the next run will be perfect or if you will totally bonk and have to crawl home and collapse in a heap on your couch (what, has this only happened to me?). Go run. Have some fun.

And remember, it’s RUNNING and it’s supposed to be FUN.

True story.

True story.

Do you have running demons? Are they like Gremlins and they only come out if fed after midnight? I’m a little bit like this–can’t stay up too late or I start to get weird. How do you conquer your running demons?

Now go out and run!

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17 thoughts on “Running Demons

  1. Loving this post!! I get so worked up about long runs sometimes but once my run is over I seriously wonder why I wasted so much time worrying. Glad to know I’m not the only crazy one haha :)

  2. I have to agree with you on the long run PR thing, I don’t know why but I get really caught up on pace and it makes me crazy. And I love to collapse on the couch afterwards… preferably surrounded by snacks.

  3. I still don’t understand how you can run 40+ kilometers, But anyways thanks for the running advice last week I did my 5km and I have another 5km on September 1st and another one on September 28th. I still can’t grasp how you run 40+,km, when 5km kills me!

  4. I need to run with you more often so I can learn to enjoy the run more given the company. You’re the best, love your posts!

  5. LOVE this post. I just found your blog and this was exactly what I needed!!! I hurt my achilles during a half marathon in july and have been struggling to recover and train for my first marathon – the marine corps marathon, which is at the end of October. Its so important to remember why I started running in the first place, not for all the silly reasons that came up afterwards.

    • The MCM is one of my favorite marathons–I’ve done it 4 times. Hang in there! If it doesn’t happen for you this year, it’s better to do it when you’re 100% better.

  6. Pingback: Embracing the Bad | KandJColorado

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