How Impostor Syndrome Won The Race I Never Ran

Here’s a story about Lucky…just kidding. But thanks to Britney Spears for the inspiration. Here is a story about a mom that trained for a race only to not actually run that race due to allergies {but mostly, due to Impostor Syndrome}. 

Back in April, a coworker challenged me to run the Mackinaw Bridge race on Labor Day. This was in April 2021. If you’ve never ran that race before, that is about 5 miles at 6 am in 40°-50°F weather with possible rain and wind on Labor Day. The last time I ran a race was about 8 years ago way before I had a kid. I was freaking out. 

Impostor SyndromeThere was no way my out-of-shape self could prepare for this race. Impostor Syndrome crept in, and I thought, “there’s no way I can run the race and do well.” But then, I realized something in my training. I discovered that running was a really good grief release. I found my high and I drank that Kool-Aid until the pitcher was bone dry. Then, I got a really bad viral infection within a week of the race and couldn’t breathe well enough on my own to run the race which was really disappointing, but I was actually happy that I got that viral infection. 

We are our own worst enemy and I definitely fell victim to Impostor Syndrome and convinced myself at one point that I would be so awful trying to run, that I stayed home. I also drank the social media Kool-Aid, you know the one where everything you see on the internet is true, right?

THIS IS NOT TRUE… but I read somewhere that running after suffering a loss could delay your chances of getting pregnant again. I have not been able to find any science to support that. I repeat: I have not found science to support that, but I convinced myself that was the gospel truth. Why? Why do I let lies take over my life? Like that’s crazy. I know better. 

Impostor Syndrome

Why did I quit? I was so scared of failing. I’m scared of disappointing my daughter even though I know she’s looking down, cheering me on, and yelling, “that’s my mom!”

I also convinced myself that my body was damaged because I couldn’t give birth to a living baby. in short, impostor syndome.

How could I accomplish such a feat? Did I start training too soon before the race? Most definitely, but the journey doesn’t stop here and I still want to share with you my training journey, and how I’m kicking Impostor Syndrome to the curb. 

Impostor Syndrome1) Invest in yourself. Buy a really good pair of running shoes like Brooks. I also run with copper inserts and that helps my lower back tremendously. Biker shorts are the way to go too with running. I had little to no inner thigh chaffing with the shorts. A good sports bra will go a long way too.

2) Set goals, give yourself grace when you don’t reach those goals, and repeat. I had goals of running 5 miles in 3 months. That wasn’t the most realistic goal ever and now I am reevaluating said goal. The 10K Runner app helped guide me on my runs and set new ‘optimized’ goals every day {I did pay for the unlimited access and it’s worth it}. 

3) I changed my diet in the slightest way: Hello Mediterranean diet! Do you love bread, pasta, and good food? I would recommend trying Mediterranean meals then! You eat your bread and pasta, but the key part is you eliminate red meat. The lighter meals helped me feel so full and I noticed I lost an inch or two!

Impostor Syndrome

So what are my takeaways from this journey with Impostor Syndrome? I need to be kinder to myself. I gave birth to a human being. That is something no one can take away from me. My body has changed in such a beautiful way and I should celebrate that.  I can’t let the fear of striking out keep me from playing in the game. Life is scary and so unpredictable, but I know I am going to miss out on so much in life if I stay inside and hide away from the world. I am going to continue growing so much.  And I am a Superhero!