Injury · Running

Runfessions: Race Season FOMO

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!

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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.

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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?

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18 thoughts on “Runfessions: Race Season FOMO

  1. Race FOMO watching the London Marathon this year led to me now having a place for 2017, which will mean 3 marathons in a year when I only ran my first in April! Sometimes FOMO makes you do too much when you should be giving yourself a break. Hope the injury stays in the off position!

  2. You have been so patient and smart with your return to running and I know how much you missed it these past 9 months. So every time a picture of you running pops up in my instagram feed, it makes me so happy!

    For FOMO I try to remember that if I want to reach my goals I need to stick to MY plan, not follow anyone else’s plan. I can’t race super frequently because it always leads to injury, so if I tried to race every weekend like some of my friends, I’d end up missing half the races and probably miss out on PRs due to missed training. So I try to remember that my running has to be about me, but I can still celebrate other people’s races and accomplishments.

    Have you thought about volunteering at some of the races your friends will be at? I know it’s not the same as actually racing, but it might help you feel like you are still part of that training group. Plus races sometimes offer discounts to volunteers for their future races.

    1. Aww thank you! I love posting those pictures on instagram! And you are so right about my plan vs the plan of other people. I might actually try to volunteer at one of the big races at the end of the summer! It was too much for me to handle when I was newly injured because I was just so jealous of everyone, but I think it might be a good idea to do it now!

  3. This was me last year when I was pregnant during race season! It’s tough mentally, but your body will thank you. The season off forced me to give my body time to heal since I was still fighting a calf strain at the time. Do your PT, run what you can when you can, and know that races will always be there.

  4. I definitely hope that this year is just a blip on your race radar.

    I’ve been lucky enough, knocking on wood, that so far none of my injuries have been serious enough to really take me out.

    I don’t get terribly nervous at races. I can take or leave most shirts, and while medals are nice, they actually don’t motivate me that much.

    I do like exploring new places. And yes, that runner’s high at the end of (most) races.

    Funny, miles 6-9 are usually where I’m at my best, and it’s those last few miles that are so hard.

    The early mornings, when I’m running with my group, wear on me, even though I’m a morning person. The bugs! OMG, this gnat was driving me crazy this morning. The randomness of chafing.

    And Heather’s idea of volunteering is a great one!

      1. LOL about the relay. 🙂 I did my first relay this spring — it was definitely kind of fun! And I’m pretty sure it helped me race harder because I did the first leg and knew someone was waiting on me.

  5. I definitely have FOMO often, but my budget and schedule just don’t allow me to do all the races I want to do. I’m glad you’re back to running, and I hope you’ve officially kicked this injury’s butt!

  6. I’m bummed for you and I hope your SI joint heals fully and permanently. My FOMO is usually the worst when my friends are finishing their epic races. I don’t miss the long, exhausting weeks of marathon training but missing race day is hard.

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