Injury · Living in Alaska · Monday Motivation · Running · Weekend · Winter

When You Stop Overthinking

Hi everyone!  I had such an awesome weekend, most of which only happened because I stopped overthinking everything and just let myself have fun!  Do you ever feel like you’re overthinking every thing that you do?  If you read my post about #recoveringrunnerproblems, you’ll remember that  one of my struggles post-injury is overthinking everything – from cross training to running milage to how often I’m doing my PT exercises.  I don’t want to ever be injured again!  This weekend something must have come over me (maybe my official word of 2016, “confidence”?) because I just totally stopped overthinking and worrying about everything and just let go!  And I ended up doing some pretty cool stuff once I did so.

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Worry #1:  I’ll never run like I did before my injury.

Truth:  I’m getting there!  I’m able to run pain-free with very little to no soreness after a run (the soreness happens if I’m particularly stiff during a really icy run) and I’m getting more confident each time I run.  On Friday I went out for a half hour long 4:1 interval run, and I ended up finishing with perfect negative splits – and a few sub-10 minute mile paces!  I haven’t run that fast since October, and even though it was only for short amounts of time followed by a one minute walk break it made me feel confident that I’ll be back to running like normal again soon!  Even though I knew I should keep it slow, I couldn’t resist having fun and letting go for a few miles and I finished with a huge smile on my face.  It reminded me how much I love running!

img_0363Run intervals:  10:58/10:45/10:33/10:10/9:34/9:10

Worry #2:  I’m going to fall on the ice and hurt myself.

Truth:  I have to trust my body and take my time in order to feel confident!  If you read my post from Friday, you’ll see that Anchorage has been having some really icy weather lately.  In the last week alone I’ve had to deal with too many icy walks/runs to count, and I’ve had to take my time and trust in my body’s balance to stay safe.  Well, all of that caution seemed to go out the window when on Friday night I decided to go ice skating with my friends!  I’ve only done it once before and it was years ago so I was pretty nervous.  We went to a rink at a local elementary school and had the opportunity to skate around outside for a while.  I was clinging onto the railing most of the time, but after a few laps around the ice I was feeling confident enough to let go every few feet.  After an hour or so I was able to make it all the way around the edge without holding on – and I didn’t fall once!  I was terrified of falling and hurting myself, but once I stopped thinking so hard about all the bad things that could happen I was able to let go, relax, and have fun!

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Worry #3:  Learning new things is too hard and I’m never going to get better.

Truth:  Once you’ve done something a few times it gets a lot easier – and a lot more fun!  I went all the way out to Hatcher Pass again for more cross country skiing on Sunday, and on the 45 minute drive out to Palmer I couldn’t help but stress about how difficult it is for me to balance on skis (and ice skates) and how my body can’t just relax and move without being stiff!  But as soon as we got up there and I clipped into my skis, it felt way more natural than last time.  My friends even commented on how confident I looked compared to last time, and when it was time to hit the downhill portions I didn’t fall once!  In fact, we actually finished the 6 mile course a whole 45 minutes faster than last week!  By the end I was already making plans to get out again next weekend.  Have I found my newest obsession?

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I tend to be an anxious person, and my injury doesn’t help at all.  But it turns out that when I stop thinking so much and just let my body do what feels right, I end up having a really great time and can achieve things I didn’t think were possible.  I’m happy to see that even though we’re just a few weeks into the new year, I’m already feeling more confident this year than I ever have before!  I’m excited to keep this up and see what happens!

What did you do this weekend?  Do you ever overthink things, especially if you’ve been injured?  What’s the scariest thing you’ve done lately?

25 thoughts on “When You Stop Overthinking

  1. I spend the whole weekend in my pyjamas.
    I never overthink things. When something comes to my mind, I just do it!
    I am never frightened so no scary things for me.
    But once I hopped on a plane for a blind date, others would find that scary and dangerous, but I had a lot of fun that weekend in an other country with a guy I only knew via internet!!!

  2. Even though we weren’t able to continue working together (FOR NOW), I am glad that I was there to help give you the support of getting through those first few runs back, and give you some knowledge on how to do it. You got this!

  3. I tend to be really anxious too. Worrying about everything is basically my biggest hobby. I can really relate to over thinking every little detail to make sure you don’t reinjure yourself.

    I do my best to avoid icy routes in the winter, but sometimes it just can’t be helped. I’ve fallen three times while running: twice on dry pavement and once on ice. The ice fall is the only one where I didn’t injure myself. The only issue with falling on the ice was that it was covered in wet snow and I was completely soaked when I got up and I’m sure you know cold + wet is a terrible combination. Fortunately I was less than a half mile from home.

    1. Haha yes, it’s my biggest hobby too! And that sucks that you’ve fallen while running. I’m so terrified of a wipeout because that would really mess up my butt and probably stop all injury progress. I’m glad you weren’t hurt when you fell on the ice!

  4. Hmm. Scariest thing? Seriously, I don’t do scary things!

    But I did have a run like that myself this weekend. Meant to take it easy, but ended up with negative splits and pushed the pace the last mile.

    Also may not have been the wisest thing to do, but oh well!

  5. You sounds SO great! I totally get where you’re coming from as I’m a master overthinker and I think the same kinds of things when I get injured. Yay for a great run!

  6. I definitely overthink when I am recovering from an injury – every twinge causes a panic attack. Other than that, I tend to go with the flow with my running and not think to much about what I ^should^ be doing,

  7. This is me to the ‘T.’ I don’t trust God enough and think that I have to have everything ‘worked out’ before I can actually just leap out in faith and do it. His strength is so sufficient, even when my heart falters. The more you stop thinking about it and just trust, the more AMAZING life is!

  8. I overthink everything! Like, seriously everything. I can’t think of anything scary that I’ve done lately, so I guess this was good timing to read this and get inspired to do something 🙂

  9. I totally share Worry #2 with you… there’s nothing scarier than running on ice! Eek! One of the reasons I hate running in the dark in the winter. You never know what’s lurking under the snow…

  10. It is difficult as a runner to be forced to take it easy. It seems unfair and torturous! Yet remember that healing means you will be able to run the way you want very soon!! I am here in VT and I hear exactly what your saying about running in snowy and icy conditions. It surely changes the run. Stay warm and safe!!!

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