Running through the nerves

Last night I went to bed and I was nervous. All I kept thinking about were the miles I had to run the next morning, the blisters on my feet and the tibia twinge. These are all things I have dealt with before, so I don’t know why this time I was feeling the nerves.

I guess it’s because Cruce de los Andes is the something I have never done before, and all these runs are leading up to that one momentous event. With their latest promotional video (see earlier posts), it seemed that every time I closed my eyes there they were: lakes deeper than ever, volcanos as high as the sky, rivers, creeks, forests, steep and never-ending paths… I was turning Cruce into an arch-enemy.

But it’s not. Maria and I, as best friends and crazy chicas, are going to have to make Cruce our friend. It’s going to have to join the M&M Running Club. This will mean laughing at those impossible gradients of scree, the mud, the itches, the leg burn. It will mean relishing each painful moment, knowing that there will be less painful ones ahead.

That’s what I did today. I got up and got straight into my running gear, even though I wasn’t heading out for another 90 minutes. I paid attention to Maria’s earlier post and filled myself up on peanut butter. I hydrated after all the salted popcorn last night. And I stretched and tried not to psyche myself out. These were hills and routes I had run many times before.

West London was waiting for me in all its winter glory. And there were so many other runners I passed that I felt I was part of some secret club. I’m not running with music these days, so I kept mentally focused, imagining the stupid stories Maria and I would be making up along the way in three weeks’ time, and the hilarity which would ensue if we actually bumped into a mountain goat on our path. The sun beat down, I made sure I kept sipping my Lucozade sport and I relaxed.

Each step, each hill and the further I went, the easier it was and the more I knew I was winning. It wasn’t a race, I wasn’t going to win a prize, but I was winning against the nerves that had plagued me the last couple of days. As Maria alluded to in a previous post, I think sometimes we freak ourselves before realising that getting out the door and getting on with it is the only thing that’s going to get rid of those nasty nerves.

So, now I feel like superwoman. Psychologically speaking. Physically, I need a feet transplant and some more blister operations will be coming my way. But is this going to stop me? No.

As Steve Bull once said: “Nerves and butterflies are fine – they’re a physical sign that you’re mentally ready and eager.  You have to get the butterflies to fly in formation, that’s the trick.”

Let’s go flying…


About Laura Alonso

We run. We travel. And to combine both is a beautiful thing. "Runners just do it. They go for the finish line even though someone else has reached it first."

Posted on January 15, 2012, in Psychology and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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