I had planned on making today a 100% fun day since it is Valentine’s Day (not that that matters to me… single girl status) and I saw a survey floating around for awhile now, started by this amazing girl that always provides me with tons of inspiration. I always forget that she’s actually my younger brother’s age but I feel like we’re bff’s. Anyways, that will have to be pushed to tomorrow. Have to go with the flow, ya catch my drift?
Why? Because this week has been an emotional roller coaster for me. I can’t go into a lot of details but let’s just say that on Monday, Christine and I were up until 4:30am (Tuesday) helping out a friend. It wasn’t all bad and it was certainly an adventure of a night but it really took it out of both of us mentally. It came just in time for Tuesday’s workout which our coach prefaced by saying it was going to be the most difficult workout of the season. Cool, Coach, cool. As your team is struggling big time and running on virtually no sleep (3 hours for me), you expect us to run our best? I don’t think so.
I got to practice and was literally delusional. I’m pretty sure I was laughing at things that made no sense and was running on pure adrenaline so I didn’t think it was going to go well. We did 1000 pace, 800 under pace, 1000 pace, 800 under pace, 1000 pace, 400 all out. We consistently hit our splits which was a huge improvement over our last 1000s workout where we were 10 seconds off and I was amazed. I was, dare I say it, feeling pretty good?
And then the ball dropped. How much more could I give? That second 800 did me in. I finished it just under pace. The second I crossed the line, though, I couldn’t breathe. I panicked, gasping for breath that wasn’t coming. I started crying and couldn’t get ahold of myself. The longer it took for my breath to come back, the more I panicked, prolonging the cycle.
This hasn’t happened to me since I quit swimming when I was having panic attacks on a pretty regular basis. It was always the worst on sets where we were supposed to go “balls to the wall” hard. I have never experienced anything like it with running and I think that’s what scared me so much.
We nailed the last 1000, still very shaken up but I was able to put it aside to not disappoint my coach or myself.
Until the last 400 came. Our coach kept saying “Give it everything you’ve got. This is the end of the workout. This one is all out.” I pushed it and did come in well under my usual 400 pace but I came across the finish line and it happened again.
This time it was worse, though, and the restricted breathing lasted longer, throwing me into more of a panic. Thankfully, I have some amazing teammates who walked with me for a lap and helped me realize what had just happened. I was having panic attacks because “all out” is my trigger phrase. When I heard that, all of the bad memories and pressure I had from swimming came rushing back and I was having trouble separating the two.
I am able to shake off these feelings the minute the workout is over, but what scares me is the idea of them coming back. Because they have never happened before, I didn’t think it would ever be an issue with running which is a huge part of the reason I switched sports this year. Now that I know it’s following me, I have to evaluate whether or not this had something to do with being way overtired or if there’s much more going on.
So for this week’s installment of thankful thursday brought to you by Jessie, I’m saying thank you to all of my friends, including all of you, who are so supportive and willing to help me whenever I need it. I have a lot of trouble asking for help and it’s nice that I have people that don’t even need me to ask. They come to me and know exactly what’s wrong.
Have you ever experienced a panic attack? What do you do to get out of them?
Do you have trouble asking for help?