“Fear Of Missing Out on Running”

When training for a marathon, there’s always one run that’s so bad, it makes me cry. I’ve mentioned this before as a word of caution for anyone planning to train for a marathon. Every year, without fail, I have one of these runs. Usually it’s because I’m overly fatigued, mentally or physically, and just don’t feel quite right. This causes me to have a slow, fatiguing, less-than-great run, which then causes me to panic that I’ve lost all my running mojo, which then causes me to cry. It’s ridiculous, I know. But I’ve learned to accept it and be ready for it.

Last weekend, I had THAT run. But this time it was different. It had nothing to do with a mental or physical slump. It was a chain reaction that left me with some serious FOMOR – which was really what led to the crying. FOMOR

Any runner who has been running awhile knows about FOMOR – Fear Of Missing Out on Running. An injury, a busy week or anything that can potentially keep one from running can lead to some serious FOMOR.

Back to the story. As I often do, allow me to set the stage:

For the past few weeks, I’ve been struggling with issues in my left leg. Stiffness and soreness in my hamstring up to my glute has recently led to really tight and sometimes even painful feeling behind my knee. I’m also about five weeks out from running the Boston marathon, meaning this is no time for anything that could hamper my running.

Two weeks ago was a light week in my training schedule. Long run of 14 miles and just under 30 miles total for the week. This was in prep for last week’s 40+ miles, total, and 20-mile long run.

My hamstring started feeling stiff but around mile 12, the knee soreness hit – followed by a few moments of sharp, awful pain – and then, panic. Would I manage to get home without really hurting myself? Would I have to limp the last two miles? Would I have to stop running for the foreseeable future?

Boston

The thought of not being able to run this great city’s marathon was enough for some major FOMOR.

Luckily I made it home. As I walked through and saw Chris, I immediately started crying. Like, ugly crying. In between sobs I managed to tell him about my knee pain and how terrified I was – not that there was something potentially wrong with it, but that I might not be able to run Boston next month. Priorities, right?

He assured me I’d be fine, I just might have to scale back the running a bit is all.

While I now know he was right, that still wasn’t what I wanted to hear. Scale back my running? Does he not know me but at all? Once I had some time to calm down, I felt better and realized he was right. But I still had some serious feelings of FOMOR.

The next day, I had originally planned a nice recovery run outside. Fargo was expected to have unseasonably warm temps and it would be a great day to run outside. But after the prior day’s issues, I couldn’t.

Knowing you can’t run is bad enough. But watching other people run when you want to and can’t – OMG that’s some major FOMOR. And of course I didn’t reassure myself it was only one day. All the overly-anxious, panicky side of me could think was, “What if I can never run again?!” Again, it’s ridiculous. I KNOW. To say running keeps me sane is an understatement.

That’s the thing about running. Some days (and I think we can all agree) it kinda sucks. Some days, I flat-out don’t want to run. I just don’t feel like it. But 99% of the time, I do run, no matter how my head feels. And I feel awesome and proud after.

I ended up being able to stick to my running schedule for the rest of last week and got in the miles I wanted. Bonus, I was probably more appreciative of being able to run than I had been in awhile so they were some of my best, happiest miles. Yesterday, I had a 20-mile run planned. I was dreading the possibility of having to shorten it to 10 or 12 miles – I mean that, I legit wanted to get up early and run 20 miles on a Saturday morning.

Although I had a few moments of stiffness and soreness, I made it. With each mile, instead of feeling more fatigued, I felt more alive and grateful to be running. I’m sure that sounds so nerdy or cheesy but it’s just the truth. Needless to say, when I saw 20.2 on my watch, I was elated. Nothing like a case of FOMOR to remind me how much I want to run, how much I need to run and how lucky I am that I can run.

Runners, have you ever had a serious case of FOMOR? Did you actually have to take serious time off from running or were you the dramatic over-reactor like me? Comment or tweet me @runlikeagirl311 on Twitter.

As always, if you like this post or know a fellow runner who would, please share on Facebook or Twitter!

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