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The 5 Stages Of Long Run Anxiety

Oh, the long run. It is both the bane and the bliss of every runner’s existence. Regardless of what your “long” run distance may consist of, we all go through the same range of emotions leading up to this oh-so-important run. As I was preparing for (read: freaking out about) my 18 miles this weekend, I thought about what goes through my mind as I’m prepping for and executing a long run. Here are my five stages of the long run. Can anyone else relate???

  1. Usually the anxiety starts midday Friday. I start thinking that there is no way I can actually run whatever distance I’m scheduled to run the next day. I get this feeling in my stomach that is half nerves and half a bad reaction to my lunch. This normally subsides about the time I go to bed—you know, 9pm because I’m really fun on Fridays.
  2. I always start out a long run just feeling happy to be running with a group. The sun is shining (sometimes), the air is cool (I live in DC, so this is not really accurate, but a girl can dream) and we are moving! It feels great.
  3. I also overestimate how far we’ve gone. I’ll think we’ve run seven miles when it’s only been three. Then I just want to end it. I wear a watch so I’m not sure how I always end up messing it up so badly in my head, but without fail I’ll be so off in my estimation of time.
  4. I have to have small goals to check off while running long. Usually it goes like this: only 3 miles to the turnaround and then we’re halfway done! Only 2 miles until the water stop and pretzels! Less than a 5k until we are DONE!
  5. We made it. Now it’s time to eat ALL THE THINGS.

What stages do you go through on a long run?

Eat Pray Run DC

Eat Pray Run DC

Courtney Dredden Carter is the author of Eat Pray Run DC, where she blogs primarily about running, food and D.C. life. A four-time marathoner, she is a marathon maniac, a runner on Oiselle Team and a Zensah Ambassador. Courtney is obsessed with Pure Barre, loves college football (Roll Tide!) and enjoys exploring new restaurants in DC.