Racing Fears

Another guest post today from a fellow runDisney lover! Enjoy!

HI! I’m Jen from and Heather graciously agreed to allow me to hijack her blog for the day! If you like what you read come over and see me there. And even if you don’t, come see me anyway. I write a lot so there’s bound to be SOMETHING you like;). I’m a wife to Scott, who’s getting ready to run the Goofy Challenge, and mom of three teenage boys including a set of identical twins. For my day job I’m a pastor at a large church in the Dallas area and running is my sanity and my passion!

Me at my last race, Wine and Dine Half!

I’m getting ready to head out for the Disney World Marathon weekend. This time, I’m only doing the half, but I’ve done the full the past two years and this half will make my 14th half marathon and my 20th race overall. I LOVE racing. I love the excitement of race day and most of all, the solidarity you feel with runners from all over the world!

But I still have some big time fears before a big race. Some rational, some irrational, but all very real. So you ready to get comfy and vulnerable with me? Here we go:

My Five Biggest Fears Before Every Big Race

  1. I will get found out for not being a “real runner” – this is IRRATIONAL and I know it is. In fact, although there are certainly folks who have run more races than I have, it’s not the majority and I absolutely belong there. But ever since my first race I’ve had this nagging case of Poser Syndrome (this is when you walk into a running store and feel like it’s the first day of 8th grade). I thought this would go away the longer I ran and it has subsided but I feel get that butterfly feeling when walking into an expo.
  2. I will get sick before the race. This is actually a rational fear. I’m blessed that I don’t get sick much, but I am quite paranoid about germs in the weeks leading up to a big race. I can be downright anti-social if you have so much as a sniffle. I’ve worked really hard and don’t want the flu to take me out when I’ve put in so many hours of training!
  3. I will get sick DURING the race. Those signs that say “Don’t Poop Your Pants” are no lie. I have a, shall we say, finicky stomach and race day nerves mixed with traveling can cause lots of problems. Come to think of it, I think I’ll go get my Imodium and put it in my carry on RIGHT NOW. Thanks for reminding me.
  4. I will get injured and not finish. This fear started as “I will finish last” before my first few races. I now realize that’s unlikely but there can always be an injury that would take me out. We can put in all the training and work in the world, and a rolled ankle or a sudden flare up of an old injury can take us out. It’s not the end of the world and I think it happens to most runners if they run enough races, but I still don’t like it!
  5. And lastly, and this is the biggy, I WILL MISS MY ALARM AND OVERSLEEP AND MISS THE START. For Disney races this is a very rational fear. I get up at 2:30 am on race morning and will set my iphone, the clock radio in the room AND schedule a wake up call. And when I’m traveling with Scott will set his phone as well. And still I won’t sleep well because I’ll be worried I’ll be late. Hasn’t happened yet. Knock on wood:).

So what’s the bottom line? Fears are normal and honestly? That fear is part of the fun! It makes me feel alive and it means I’m taking chances. At 43, I love that I’m still pushing myself to do things that scare me and I hope I never stop!

Happy Running! Hope to see you over at my blog or on twitter where I’m @jenlefforge.


QOTD: Do you have any race/running fears?

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  1. I also get fears for all my races – even if it’s a 5k, or a race I’ve done before. Congrats on all your accomplishments! 🙂

  2. Getting sick before my race and oversleeping the start are two of my biggest fears before a race as well! Also, I start getting race nightmares weeks (or even months) ahead of time.

  3. Yep, I can really relate to #2 & #5 — especially #2 since I *did* get sick last year before the Neverland 5K, my first race ever! I had a fever if about 101 less than 12 hours before, was normal at the start, and back over 100 by the afternoon. I probably shouldn’t have run, but I’d worked too hard & wasn’t about to miss it!