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Running and anxiety?

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Old 08-03-2013, 03:05 PM   #1
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Default Running and anxiety?

I want to go for a run, but a part of me is terrified that someone will make fun of me, or that I will further injure myself.

How do you get past the biggest obstacle for me, which is fear of others??? I know I look awful when I run, and can only imagine how people see me when my extra large body bounces in sync with my every step??

I think that is my biggest issue. My knee still bugs me, but I have been doing the elliptical / treadmill / stationary bike without much issue. I have felt the knee try to roll on me, and that's a warning for me to adjust a little.



The trail I want to go on is right beside an elementary school and is a popular course for runners / dog - walkers / bikers.

Thanks!
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Old 08-03-2013, 03:27 PM   #2
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Firstly, congratulations your success so far! You must be so proud of yourself and with good reason!

Secondly, wow, can I relate, Shy Heather. I know it shouldn't matter, but an ugly comment yelled out of a car window or by some lame passerby can really put a damper on your effort. I am the same way and for that reason I tend to run very early in the morning when few people are up and can see me, or on an enclose/out of the way paths that aren't exposed to heavy highway or car traffic. For example, a 3+ mile path is a few yards from my front door and circles an outlying golf course. Lots of tall grasses and very popular with runners and walkers who I know won't give me any grief. While I am strategic about running, I power walk for miles with abandon. Have you thought about easing into running by getting outdoors and getting used to being in an outdoor environment? This will also have a lower impact on your knee. When I run I don't listen to music or anything else, but on my walks I'll frequently take my iPhone and walk to the beat of the music. A great workout! Also, have you had your knee looked at by your doctor? I would do this first to get the all clear sign to run.

Finally, I know beautiful people inside and out. Some of these people are runners, others are not. I personally think running makes you beautiful (btw, I'm not referring to outer beauty but the beauty of commitment, discipline, and effort it takes to make a body run). Outside of Olympic speedsters who make it look effortless, I've yet to ever comment that a runner looks "hot/great/wonderful etc" while in the act of running. You don't and won't look awful SH. You'll look beet red, sweaty, and exhausted. In other words, human. Now THAT'S beautiful!
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Old 08-03-2013, 03:29 PM   #3
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Hello ShyHeather,

Congrats on your workouts so far. As for running outside, I would encourage you to do it. The vast majority of people who will see you running/walking will think "That's awesome! She is taking steps to get healthier." Once in a while, you might hear derogatory comments but know that they come from very little people and most people who hear those comments are offended like you.

I bet that you will receive much more cheering and kudos, even non-verbal ones, than any of the negative stuff.

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Old 08-03-2013, 03:32 PM   #4
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First, thank you and second, no I haven't seen a Doctor. I don't have insurance and so I just kind of dance around the notion of seeing a physician. I have been taking pretty good care of my knee though, with wraps and muscle relaxers from my last ER visit back in February.

I know there is a dirt trail that is softer to walk on that isn't visible once you disappear around the corner... I could try that. I might consider the early morning part, just have to get my butt up. Haha... I am so not a morning person (thus the 8pm 45 minute workouts).
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Old 08-03-2013, 03:55 PM   #5
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I can totally relate. I do more biking than running, and have had a few embarrassing moments, like having to circle back around on my bike to make it through a steep intersection, twice, in front of tons of cars. lol. The more I make myself just get out and do it, the less intimidating it is.
Do you have a friend, family member, or dog that could run with you? Maybe that would help? Best of luck to you, you've a right to be happy and confident and do anything anyone else is doing...
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Old 08-04-2013, 07:43 AM   #6
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I second wondering if someone can go with you? That really is helpful.
I also want to say I GET IT. I actually went through these feelings yesterday. I ran for the first time EVER! My husband is a runner, it was never something that interested me. But for some reason it has lately. I've been wanting to run for months, but keep chickening out.

I was seriously worried about looking like a goof. I was afraid of people watching, so made him go out with me at 8pm so it was starting to get darker out. Right off the bat I passed this group of teenage boys and I thought "are you kidding?"... I'm pretty sure they barely looked.

I can tell you- once you get "in the moment" and "in the groove" you will NOT notice things around you. I had planned on running quiet streets, side streets, etc.. once I got past my 3 minutes (I was only able to run 8 my first time, not even a mile) I ran to a really busy street, and I could have cared less what I looked like. Didn't care how many people I passed, didn't care about the people in cars watching, etc. But I had to get in that zone.

I absolutely loved the run, though I'm sore today. My legs are jello I highly encourage you to head out and try. No one will watch. It's your own mental block that just thinks everyone will. And if they are staring? Kudos to YOU for being out there.... while they sit on their butts watching
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Old 08-04-2013, 08:31 AM   #7
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Man, I can relate! I was terrified of running and that people would tease me or yell stuff so I really understand your fears. But, first off, YOU ROCK and you've come so far! Second off, I realized a very important thing: EVERYONE can look downright ridiculous working out and it really helped me get out there. Ever seen those pictures of Beyonce performing? Yeah, like that. I might look silly sweating my butt off and my legs jiggle and I have to stop every so often but so do most other people. If you're worried people will say something: a.) I think people yelling at others is rare, and b.) put headphones in and just focus on your run and how awesome you are.

For your knee, I know it's a little new-agey but have you looked into Chi Running? It's really good on the knees. I'd link it but I don't really know the link-rules. If you Google it, it'll come up.

Anyway, to sum up: YOU ARE AWESOME! Get out there and run.
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Old 08-05-2013, 02:29 AM   #8
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I run at night. I live in a tiny town, the roads are well lit but there is seriously zero traffic so I can run down the middle of the road (no sidewalks). I'm trying to make myself run in the mornings but there is a lot of traffic, lots of city workers since I run by the municipal building. I don't want the whole town looking at me all red faced and sweaty.

But honestly, being so close to the military base there are a LOT of people out running at any hour of the day in various shapes/sizes/speeds. Even the hot young things don't look so cute when they're out running. And when someone throws out a catcall I answer back with "I'm on my 3rd 10 min mile, care to join me for the next 3?". That usually shuts them up
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Old 08-05-2013, 04:43 PM   #9
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I used to have the same issue. I was afraid people would stare at me. I am a 40DDD and I think that is where some of my anxiety was coming in because I did not want people to stare or laugh.

I started by running to the corner and back and then each time I would go a little further each time. I also got some awesome upbeat music to listen to. If you have a park in your area, you can always run at the park also with other people.

Think about it like this, when you see someone run do you point and laugh? You probably think to yourself " well good for them" or something along those lines. The same will happen with you. Someone will most likely look at you and say I want to be like that person and get out there and start running.
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Old 08-27-2013, 01:08 PM   #10
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After being an avid runner for years, a knee injury (MCL tear) and the weight that I've put on over the last year had me feeling terrified of going back and starting over. People can be so cruel but honestly? Put them on the backburner. When I used to be in phenomenal shape, I would look at someone who was heavy and be so proud to share the road (or treadmill) with them. Now that I've put on weight, it has humbled me immensely and made me face my fears of looking like a jigglypuff running. At the end of the day, they don't matter. How you feel about yourself does. Oh, and one final note: when I went back to the gym last week for my old cycling class, I hadn't been there in over 6 months. I was terrified and I'll be honest, the reaction from some of the "regulars" hurt my feelings because they were used to seeing me very skinny. One person was so kind to me that I blotted out the rest and focused on why I was there in the first place. I didn't think anyone else got scared to look heavy in front of others while working out but we do. And its ok

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Old 08-27-2013, 01:59 PM   #11
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The people who yell mean things would have yelled something stupid at ANYBODY they saw; they just like the opportunity to be petty.

Do you live near a high school? You could run on the track since it'll be either dirt or clay. Either one is much nicer on your joints than pavement, and the tracks tend to be a little more out of the way so you won't encounter as many idiots.
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Old 08-28-2013, 05:04 PM   #12
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Thank you, everyone. I'm still building back up to that. I have now dealt with a knee injury and an ankle injury within a short time span (I'm a klutz, so yeah...). No running for me, yet but as soon as this blasted smoke from the Yosemite fire clears up, I will be hitting the trail.

'Sides I need to, my poor Chihuahua is starting to look a little fluffy.
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Old 08-30-2013, 12:08 AM   #13
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You should read this:
http://flintland.blogspot.com/2012/0...-girl.html?m=1

I used to think people would make fun of me too, but they either ignore me all together or more commonly give me a smile, friendly nod or wave.

Running is a pretty friend sport
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