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I’m sure I will be able to write many more posts about the fear I experience as I prepare to run the Dopey Challenge in January 2020. Really, I could talk about fear in all aspects of life, but this blog is about running, so I’ll focus on that.

I find that my fear creeps in most often in the moments just before I do or decide something. For example, when I start planning out my training schedule for my next race, I get this rush of worry that I won’t do it right – or that I won’t do it at all. What will that mean? What will it say about me? Will I be a failure in everything if I’m not as successful as I want to be in this one thing? Sometimes, I get a similar (though, less intense) feeling just before a long run or a workout I’m unfamiliar with.

Recently, I started planning out the rest of my running schedule for 2019, as I edge ever closer to the Dopey 2020. I’m running a half marathon over St. Patrick’s Day weekend and have a marathon and a half scheduled for the end of June. Apparently, half marathons don’t scare me anymore. But, when I started mapping out my training schedule for the marathon and a half, I started to panic a little. Could I do this? Is this too ambitious? Will I make it?

It’s all the standard self-doubt stuff. It is designed to stop me before I even get started. This self-talk is well-practiced and it has taken me a lot of time to get as experienced at pushing past it as I am listening to it. I remind myself that the goal is to finish, not to win. The goal is to survive, not to have my best time. Is it bad that my strategy to survive self-doubt is to lower my expectations? Maybe – but it is working for now.

So, I’ve mapped out my training schedule for the next race adventure in June (before I’ve started the March race). And I’m still scared. But, I’ve learned that all I can do for now is put it on the schedule, tell people I’m doing it (for accountability), and make my best effort each day. One foot in front of the other, as they say.


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