That's the question of our current homepage poll. (You can see the poll and vote on our homepage, left column, under Running Blogs. Or view the results and comments here.)
The poll's options:
- Getting injured.
- Hitting the wall.
- Failing to achieve my goals.
- Falling behind my training partner or group.
It's fine, as far as homepage polls go. But personally I think the options are way too limited. I don't know… maybe I'm an unusually anxious runner.
Here are just a few of my own "running fears."
- Showing up late for a race and hearing the gun just as I'm getting out of my car and then looking down and realizing that my racing flats are untied and also I'm not wearing any pants and then my mother appears and mocks me. (Usually this fear comes in the form of a dream.)
- Being hit by a train. Seriously. No idea why, but I fear being creamed by a train more than being hit by a car, even though the odds of being hit by a distracted driver have to be astronomically higher.
- Pooping myself during a race. This has nearly happened more than once. Talk about horror.
- Tripping on something stupid on the shoulder of the road, then falling forward and landing on something sharp, like a sawed-off steel signpost, and impaling myself. Then the EMT's would come and have to sever the signpost near the ground and take me to the ER with the post still sticking out of my chest and someone would snap a cell phone photo and it would wind up on the internet. Public humiliation + gaping chest wound = terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
- Dropping dead during a run or a race. Statistically, I know that this fear is insanely irrational. And as far as I know, my ticker is in tip-top shape. Still, it's something I can't not think about. Especially now that I have a little daughter.
- Buying a cool new black technical running jacket at full price and then seeing it a few weeks later for 30% off. Dammit!
- Returning from a run and realizing that my shorts' liner had gone saggy and that as a result my, um, Beardsley was showing.
Your turn. Leave a comment below and share your deepest, darkest running fears.
And next time you're running on the shoulder of the road, for heaven's sake, watch where you're going.