Panic. I've had it twice now. 3 minutes into the 10 k run a few weeks ago and again this morning ... 3 minutes into the 5k ParkRun.
When I first felt it I recognised it from way back. From when I was at school. I used to get it when we all took off for the cross-country. I would get it at the beginning of an exam that I hadn't been to class for let alone studied for.
It was overwhelming when I plunged into the water at swimming sports.
I was feeling truth. The dreaded truth. I was the chubby kid who simply could not run that cross country. I knew it and it filled me with panic. The dreaded truth of looking down at questions that I knew I had no understanding of and my suspicions of being thick would be confirmed publicly. It filled me with panic. The dreaded truth of knowing that I would be the absolute last swimmer in the race and that everyone would have to wait for me to drag myself out of the pool with all eyes on my chubby, stubby, useless, teenage body in ugly togs. It filled me with panic.
So why have I started feeling it again? Do I actually believe I can't run the distance that stretches out in front of me? Maybe. But unlike when I was back at school there is absolutely no truth in my panic. And Nicky in her incredible way reminded me of that today. I can easily run that run. And the next run. And the next. There is simply no truth in my panic.
Past experiences never really leave you and even with time stretching and leaving them far in the distance they lay in wait ready to haunt you.
But that was then. And this is now.
I ran that ParkRun today. Of course I did. In the pouring rain and driving wind I did it. Easy.