Running is Supposed to Cure Anxiety…Right?

Hi everyone,

Jeni and I got an (almost) 4 mile run in last night at the Fat Tire run. It was pretty hot out, but we took it slow and surprisingly the run was not only bearable but FUN! I guess the beers and cheeseburger after didn’t hurt either – haha.

Lately I’ve been feeling a lot of anxiety, but the cause of it is such a mystery to me. My job isn’t stressful, I have a great support system, I’ve been eating well, and I run an average of 30 miles a week! I should be great AND doesn’t running help relieve stress and anxiety? But when I think about what could be causing this anxiety I always come back to the same answer – running.

This is the first marathon I have ever trained for, and it is a whole different game than training for a 10K or half marathon. I feel like when I’m not running I’m thinking about running. Not that it is all bad but I feel a bit as if it is consuming my life.

When I eat, I have to think about my run. Will it upset my stomach? Am I get enough carbs/protein/etc.? Will it be enough to last me a 2 hour run? Did I drink enough water today? The list goes on and on.

I have to carefully plan my week in order to get in all my training runs. When are the hottest/coolest days? Do I have any conflicts that will interfere? When can my running buddies run with me?

I also have to make a lot of sacrifices. I guess I knew this was going to have to happen, but you don’t realize the impact it will really have on your life until it happens. I have my long run every Saturday morning, which means I can’t do anything Friday night. No drinking and no staying up late. Then I have to wake up even earlier Saturday morning than I usually do for work, so by the time I’m done with a long run, my legs hurt and I’m tired. That means most of my Saturday is shot. It is really hard to say no I can’t go have a drink with you because I need to rest for my run tomorrow! Thank goodness my boyfriend, Eric, is totally understanding of this and helps me get through the weekends!

I know that all of this will be worth it when I cross the finish line and complete my first marathon. Until then I need to keep reminding myself why I LOVE to run. I think this quote from Shalane Fanagan, who just ran a 2:25:51 marathon in the London Olympics, sums it up pretty well:

“I love the fact that not many people can say ‘Oh, I went out and ran 20 miles today.’ I love how much dedication it takes and how much you learn a lot about yourself, your physical and mental limits. There’s just something about it.”

Keep Running!

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