Starting from scratch in an elite fitness-blog-world full of expensive gear, and Personal Records she couldn't beat with a car.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The paralysis of perfectionism

My name is The Jogging Jawa and I am a perfectionist.

I know that probably sounds kind of flip, but it's actually a huge problem for me. When what you require is best case scenario and you know that's unreasonable, all you can imagine is worst case scenario and so you freeze up. And by "you" I of course mean "I".

Perfectionism goes hand in hand with anxiety. The projections of doom I place on my ability to actually do a task to my satisfaction are only trumped by the ridicule (or at the very least disappointment of others) I expect based on my lack of complete mastery. And so I stand, frozen in the headlights, so afraid of what is to come that I guarantee my own failure.

This is really pretty stupid on my part as I do tend to be pretty good at things once I actually get around to doing them, but that knowledge almost seems to make it worse, because what if this is The Time That I Fail(tm). Leaving aside all of the times I HAVE failed and somehow clearly survived the apocalypse-like conditions that ensued, of course.

But those were different! Somehow... I guess?

I have a friend (henceforth to be referred to as The Cheerleader, I expect her to come up a lot) who I've mentioned before as my main source of running inspiration. We were talking today about how psyched we are to be doing the Freaky 5k together in October and it occurred to me how unusual it is for me to commit to do something before I'm even really sure I can do it.

Of course I can "do" it, this is a local charity 5k run. It's not a qualifying race, or some side scrolling video game where I'm stuck rolling along at a preset pace until the screen with the giant seahorse Boss Monster with the fire bubbles (not a half bad team costume idea though!). I already know that at the very worst I can walk what I can't run (see today's c25k stats below) but it's my first one and I want to make a good showing of it.  

So very many batteries sacrificed to the Gameboy gods. I miss that thing.

Typically this would be crippling anxiety-ville but maybe there is something to that "mental health benefits of exercise" thing after all. Yeah, I have stepped things up a bit with the additional walk, but that's a reasonable response to a challenge. Unlike freezing, which is only a reasonable response when you're dealing with cinematic Tyrannosaurus Rex and their ilk.

I've got a plan and so far it seems to be doing pretty right by me. Every time I'm out there lately  sweaty and huffing I feel like I blew it for the day, but then I get back and look at my logs and I'm almost always just that smidge farther or faster than the last run. It gives me faith that I'm progressing and that bit of fuel needed to get through my next run.

So maybe I'm not perfect at mastering my perfectionism yet, but I guess don't really have to be, do I? Article: Overcoming Perfectionism

Do you consider yourself a perfectionist?

 How do you respond to the things you find emotionally challenging?


September Blog Challenge Day 4 

Describe your typical training schedule for a week

Currently the Couch to 5K plan (done by time, not mileage) is my only nod to any kind of training schedule. I keep telling myself that I'll start doing yoga or belly dance drills again on the off days but so far that hasn't happened.

I would looooove to join another dance class, but a move and a vacation in July coupled with some current cat and car health concerns have me holding onto the cash a bit more than usual.

My run today: C25K week 7 day 1
2.79 miles at 12.33 per mile (or 3.1 miles at 14:06 if you want to count the whole time I was out)

No specific problem today, just felt kinda squished, little to no oomph. It took approximately forever for me to find any kind of groove and I just felt sort of goofy for the first three quarters of a mile.

I love summer for the most part, but having central air at home this summer has messed with my normally herculean heat tolerance. This running in 90% + humidity every time is seriously getting old. It was actually raining today too, though not enough to cool me off or get the sweat off of my face before it gets in my eyes or anything useful like that. A visor is moving up pretty high on the list of the next bit of gear to buy.

I brought water and it was really nice to have, especially once I started cooling down, but I'm ditching the handheld bottle as soon as possible. I HATED it. I felt so stiff and uncomfortable carrying it, but by the time I thought to switch hands I was kind of used to it, so it threw my pace off completely to think about how to move with it in the other hand.

I actually traversed a full 5k, but walked the 0.34 mile remaining after the c25k app was done. I keep feeling like I'm doing worse during the run but when I look back at my time and distance are getting incrementally better with every run, even if those increments are kinda wee.

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