I have a couple of very strange fears.  One of them is too weird to try to explain here but it is very real and very disturbing. To me. (You can google it: trypophobia) I cannot google it because of the images. *insert panic attack* IT IS HORRIBLE, YOU GUYS. My son likes to tease me with lotus roots, honeycombs, fish eggs.  It’s BAD.

The other fear is much less revolting and is not gross, I promise.

I have a fear of being tired.  

Now, I don’t know if this is a chronically-mildly-stressed-and-tired-single-working-parent thing, but I have a very real fear of my body’s inability to hold it together when I don’t get enough sleep.  It might be a mom thing.  Or a former-insomniac thing.  But I worry about getting tired.  I stress out about being tired ….when I’m not even tired.  It’s so dumb.  It is one of the main issues I have with getting up early.  Getting up super early to run (the most efficient and effective way for me to train, as I work FT and need/want my evenings to parent, do chores, drive Liam around, goof off a little & prep for the next day) is awesome, but at the same time I have this huge fear just thinking about how tired I’m going to be later.  SO. DUMB. My mind is playing all sorts of tricks on me, I know this.  If I listen to the “fear”, I go back to sleep.   Going back to sleep = yay! I won’t be tired later! But it also = shit! I missed my run! maybe I can smoosh it in at lunch/at night! (that rarely works).  So my stupid fear of being tired just needs to go away, STAT.

Being a tired person, for me, usually means being a grumpy person.  I worry about letting people around me down by being a huge grump.  Especially my son.  I don’t like coming home from work and whining dramatically about how I am SOOOO TIRED. That gets old, quick.  Liam manages to work hard at school, work out for 2 hours after, walk home, start his homework, eat dinner, go to another 1-2 hour workout or driving class, and then finish homework.  He doesn’t whine.  (ok he whines but that’s primarily about the homework, not the tired).  I want to be 15!!!!! 😦

SO! What does all of this have to do with anything?

It’s about my running.  I believe that the one thing that is holding me back from being the kind of runner I want to be is TIME. (and natural talent 😉 )  If I were to make running my “other” job, I would get faster.  Stronger.  I wouldn’t let my fear stand in the way.


I think it’s called prioritizing?

I realized last year that training for ultras, and 100 milers in particular, was something a bit out of reach for me at this point in my life.  Running hard and well doesn’t need to mean running 100 miles.  I am okay with that.  Running my best is what I am after.

I’m coming clean with my fear of being tired and wondering if anyone else deals with this??? I refuse to say “oh I’m just not a morning person!” because I have successfully gone through periods of hard training while running primarily between 4:30-6:30 AM.  It is doable.  It does require a few tricks, however, to make it stick.

  1. Go to bed early.  (duh)  Sometimes my son has sports practices til 9:00 pm.  So, we get home from those and he might need to have dinner #2.  Or I may have promised to help him study for that Bio quiz.  Or he wants to show me 12 different YouTube videos.  I helps to have prepped him.  He knows now that I have to get up early…which means I am officially “boring”.  (“Yeah you’re kind of boring, Mom.  You go to bed so early….” )  HA.  Let me just say that I am A-ok with being this kind of boring.  I make up for it by being Super Fun Mom in all the other ways. 😉
  2. Eat dinner early. This just requires planning.  And prep.  While I’m at it, I prep for the morning. Which = COFFEE.
  3. Set out all the stuff. Headlamp, sexy yellow reflective vest, gloves, hat, etc etc.  SET IT OUT.  Some people claim that sleeping in their running clothes helps.  I cannot imagine anything worse.
  4. And, for me, the most important thing: POSITIVE SELF TALK.  Don’t let the fears in!!!  “oHHHhhh i’m going to be soooooooo tired later…..”, “my bed is soooooo warm and it’s POURING out there….”, “i’ll just go running later….”  —–>  NONE OF THESE SAYINGS ARE HELPFUL.  I have found that the magic lies in 1) feet on floor and 2) walk to coffee maker.  At that point, there’s really no turning back because of the guilt I would feel going back to bed.



I’m working on my hustle and conquering my dumb fear of being tired.  I can do this!!!

That other fear, we will not be talking about that. Or googling it or looking at any circle-y hole-y things. Ever. Gahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

What’s fueling my hustle these days:

a wee rainbow sighting mid-long run
Halloween 2001, Phinney Ridge house. oh these days!! I miss them.
Halloween 2001, Phinney Ridge house. oh these days!! I miss them. ❤
Halloween 2015. he grew.
Halloween 2015. he grew.
why i run with my phone....
why i run with my phone….love this island.
some damp grey goodness. i’ll take it.


5 thoughts on “tricks

  1. OMG, I can’t even begin to talk about how much I love you. But I’m going to anyway. Right now. First, I GOOGLED. And I am sufficiently mortified. I don’t know what to do with any of that. Let’s set it aside and move right along. Secondly: we are the same, girl. THE. SAME. You are not alone nor are you weird. Wait, I’m super weird so maybe you are too? Ah well, weird is cool now, right? Listen, if I find the secret to this morning run business you’ll be the first one I tell. Until then, let’s bask in the safety in numbers. As I sit here at almost 5pm knowing I still have an hour of running to do because I was *too tired* this morning and I have to ruin my fresh new hair that I got at the salon during lunch! booooooo hoooooo. TRICKS. XOXOXO

    1. OMG, you googled!! for as long as i can remember, i have not been able to look at cells, fish eggs, honeycombs,,,,,any cluster-y or circle-y things without getting shortness of breath etc….gahhhHh!!!! one day i googled “fear of circles”…’s A THING!!! a real phobia. i am not alone….but seriously those HOLES???? wahhhhhhh. 😦 so horrifying.
      let’s think of some tricks. right there witchu! i am also going to start removing the word “tired” from my vocabulary. 🙂 xo

  2. Fabulous, Erin!
    No one knows more about the challenges you face than you do.
    And no one has dealt with those challenges better than you have.
    Your recent move from ultra-focus to less extreme long distances seems right on: a better fit–as you show–to all the many demands on your time.
    For now, running shorter, faster seems just the ticket!

  3. thank you Dad! ❤ you are my biggest cheerleader, AND the most inspiring!!!! you are out there on the trails despite all your many challenges….many more real physical challenges than I have ever had. YOU are the real hero!!!

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