I think the most important thing to know about a “Wobbly”
is that it happens, and it’s OK to have one! In most cases guys
won’t realise they’re having one, on the other hand, women will
probably recognise it immediately. I’ll clarify later!
So what is a “wobbly” exactly? A wobbly
is when things “fall apart” during a run and you lose control of the
situation. Knowing that you have lost control is upsetting and
can make everything you need to do seem quite overwhelming and
unrealistic. All the hard work and months of training seem to go
out of the window in a flash. You feel like you are going into
freefall and there’s nothing to grab on to. In many cases you may
have difficulty dealing with your emotions.
Let me reassure you, what you are experiencing is not new, or unique to you. Wobblies happen, much like nausea or cramp or any other ailment which presents itself to you during your run.
So how to deal with the wobbly?
You need to recognise it for what it is and OWN IT! Don’t fight it, accept it and deal with your emotions. Here’s what to do.
You’ll be amazed how much better you feel after a good cry – ask any girl! OK
I know this is easier said than done for guys! I’m sure most of
you will draw the line at crying. I suggest you then leave out
the crying bit, but keep moving forward (even if walking) and just keep
telling yourself that it is OK, what’s happening is part of running
Comrades and give yourself those few minutes just to recompose yourself
and catch your breathe. Look at it as a time-out without actually
leaving the race!
- It’s probably best to be on your own so “lose” your running partners
- Keep moving forward (even if you are only able to walk)
- It’s OK to cry (in fact crying is probably the best thing you can do!
something you can use as a reality check – You need something 'real' to
hold on to. Something you can use to gauge the truth between what
you’re feeling at that very moment (which seems unbelievable) and
something that you know is real (which is believable). Let me
explain. When I first ran Comrades I carried both my
daughters little "birth bands" (the 'bracelets the hospital put around
their wrists when they were born). I had a wobbly
just after seeing the handicapped children at the bottom of Inchanga
(up run). I sobbed along feeling like I was losing it and totally
out of control, until I reached into my running goody bag
and held onto the birth bands of my girls. This was my reality
check telling me I was still in touch and that what I was experiencing
was real and it was ok. Hey it worked for me and I freshened up
and carried on running, feeling like I had things under control again.
- Give it a few minutes then blow your nose, wipe your face, tuck away your “reality check” into your goody bag and start running again – slowly.
Hang in there!
Key words: Wobbly
Internal link: Up Run, goody bag,
External links: Official Comrades Marathon