Hi everyone! If you’ve been following my running injury saga for the past 9 months, you’ll know that I’m dealing with an on again, off again SI joint injury. It’s currently off again, so I’m doing very short, very slow, very careful intervals of running for only 1 mile at a time. It might not be what most people would consider “running”, but it works for me and makes me so happy!
I knew when I was officially re-injured in February that I wouldn’t be able to run any of my goal races this year. But as time went on, I realized that I might not be able to run any races at all this year. And for someone who loves to run races, that was a really scary thought. Once May rolled around I knew that I’d be out for the entire racing season here in Alaska, and that’s when the race FOMO kicked in.
Have you ever had race season FOMO? It’s the Fear Of Missing Out, and it is hitting me hard this summer! There are so many amazing races up here in Alaska each summer, and it’s been so hard watching my friends post pictures all over social media at each race and wearing their race shirts all over town and know that I can’t do that with them. Which is actually silly when you think about it – am I worried about missing out on the experience of running the race, or am I worried about missing out on all of the perks (shirt, medal, bragging rights) that come along with it? So I decided to do a little thinking, and here are my runfessions on what is actually going on:
What I really miss:
- Running with friends, especially in a race
- Traveling to run in new places
- Dressing up in fun/silly outfits with my running buddies for themed races
- The feeling I get when I cross a finish line
- Race shirts, gear, and medals!
- Having a running goal and meeting it
- Running without any pain or worry or stress
- The excitement that comes with signing up for a race and picking a training plan
What I’m afraid of missing out on, but don’t really want to do:
- Training for a long race. It takes up so much of my time and energy, which interferes with other things I want to do in the summer.
- All of the aches and pain of training and racing hard
- Miles 6-9 of any long run or half marathon
- Pushing myself to run fast in a race – the pressure always gets to me!
- Worrying that I’m going to eat something that makes me sick on race day
- Pre-race jitters (they make me cry sometimes!)
- Post-race exhaustion
- Paying for a race
Overall, I think I’m partially glad that I can’t run any of the long races this summer – my body and mind clearly needed a break! But I do miss the social aspect of running, and that’s been one of the hardest things to deal with during this injury. It’s hard not being able to do what your body has been doing for years, especially when you’ve worked hard to build up a group of running buddies that love running race too. But I just have to trust that I’ll be running these races again soon, and work on doing things that I can do this summer. My goal is to banish my FOMO by staying off social media on big race days, and by planning tons of other fun things to do that are way better than running a race!
Have you ever had race FOMO? How do you deal with it? What is your favorite and least favorite part of racing?