Thursday, March 20, 2008

Confessions of a Running Commitophobe

I’m really NOT that guy. I’m not the guy that wakes on line for 15 minutes and still has to take forever to decide what to put on his mochachino at the Starbucks counter, or the guy that always has to order last when he and his friends are out to dinner. I’m not even the guy who will visit a store more than once for something he wants to buy. Nope, that’s not me.

BUT…when it comes to anything running-related, I’m a total commitophobe. (Is that even a word?) For instance, I’ll never buy running shoes without at least trying 3 other pairs even if I end up buying the same pair that I came in the store with. I also had to try out every flavor of GU just to prove I love chocolate (it’s like, of course, doh, who wouldn’t like chocolate?) And if a friend ever decides to run with me, I’d always defer making the decision as to how long we’d run, because I honestly never know. It frustrates the hell out of them, but I really can’t help it. Maybe that’s why I’ve been running alone so much more this year as opposed to last year, hmmm…

Lately, it’s gotten much worse…especially when it comes to registering for a roadrace. I just can’t commit to anything without checking my 4 calendars to make sure I’m free, calling all my friends and family to make sure there are no plans in the works that involve me the day of and the night before, contacting work to make sure I can take off the next day if I should be too sore to work, checking weather.com to see if there’s a chance of precipitation, and agonizing over my training schedule to make sure I have the necessary speedwork, tempo runs, and endurance runs to prepare for the race. And after I do all that, I still have to mull it over my head and take it with me on a few runs before I’ll actually make the final decision to run. If I had my way, I would never register for a race, even a nothing 4-miler, until the actual morning of the race. (Is that even a legitimate excuse, or am I being taken over by my evil twin who secretly wants me to be a bandit!)

Perhaps, that’s why I STILL haven’t successfully registered for my summer marathon yet, The San Francisco Marathon on August 3rd, even though I’ve been thinking and talking about it for the last 2 months. Although I’ve filled out the online registration form three separate times, I have not yet had the courage to click the CONFIRMATION button at the bottom of the page. I can’t decide if it’s just cold feet or a sign from the running gods that I really shouldn’t be doing this. Such a tough, tough decision.

It’s obvious that I will need some help to resolve this psychological delimma and make sure my entry form gets processed sometime before the start of the race. So over the next several posts, I’m going to list my reasons to run, and reasons not to run the marathon. You all can decide what I should do. Please help. Otherwise, I might have to enlist some professional assistance, who will undoubtedly put me on a bright little blue pill.

9 comments:

nwgdc said...

i love the word "commitophobe" whether or not Webster would accept it. i know how you feel, completely. in my desk at work still sits the entry form for my may marathon (Journeys) waiting...nay...begging to be faxed. what exactly am i waiting for? it costs friggen 47 bucks! this is ridiculous! that's it! first thing tomorrow.

hey, if nothing else, you got me to sign up!

Non-Runner Nancy said...

My goodness, Lam, there is definitely a DSM IV diagnosis for this. Are you like this in other areas of your life? One thing aobut being this thorough, I bet you make really good decisions when you finally make them. A lot like my hub. The whole process of pros and cons and a million considerations drives me crazy. He makes great decisions though. Me? I once bought a car over the phone. :D

bill carter said...

Hi Lam

It is a funny thing about your blog, but you really put it all out there for everybody to see. Doctors as a whole are pretty logical and consistently linear thinkers... but it sounds like running is kryptonite to your ability to choose. It may even be to the point where you need to have someone else push the button for you.. could a surrogate race signer upper be in your future?? Is signer upper even a word??

Best of luck Lam and I will continue to enjoy reading your stuff.

Betsy said...

Post away, but I can pretty much guarantee I'm going to tell you to register for that marathon.

Laura said...

Lam, I'm similar with being slow to register for stuff. I blame work, because I never know where my work is going to take me or how intense my project will be (and therefore whether I have time to adequately train or not). However, if I REALLY committed, I could do a race regardless. I need to think more about getting my butt in gear instead of making excuses.

Christine said...

Oh this is totally me to a tee!! I started this journey with the plan to run a half marathon in Cleveland May 18th, and was TERRIFIED i wouldn't be able to do it. Ran a half marathon about 8 weeks later...and decided to run a FULL marathon in may...then said what the hell...run a full in march. I never freaking know which race to sign up for..and can never stick with my original plan for the race. I might as well close my eyes...click a button..and show up and have THEM tell me what distance I'm running..haha

JohnnyGo said...

I know exactly what you should do. Here it is:
[this part of the message was deleted by the sender, due to inability to commit]
... and I stand behind it 100%.

Irish Cream said...

Lam, I have the same problem. My solution is signing up for races in places far away from home. When I know I have to make accommodations, travel plans, etc., I'm much more likely to get things taken care of early on (so as to avoid having to pay a ton for flights, hotel, etc.). Once you've booked air travel and hotel, the deal is pretty much sealed. It's far easier to submit that registration form ;)
On second thought, maybe I should seriously just learn to push that little button?

Leslie said...

Thanks for everyone's insightful comments. It looks like I'm not the only one that's afflicted with "commitophobia" I'm all in favor of adding that word to Webster's...or at least to the official runner's dictionary (is there such a thing, if not there should be!)

 
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