Everyone goes through it. That unbearable sense of dread before a test, presentation, or evaluation. Any time your performance is being judged it instills this sense of anxiety that is unshakable. Your pulse quickens and you can’t get that hurdle out of your mind. I’ve never had test anxiety. I tend to perform better than I expect. When it comes to aviation evaluations though, I cannot shake the anxiety. The pressure hangs overhead and seems to peek into every part of my day. It never fails. As soon as I start enjoying myself, my upcoming examination creeps into my subconscious taking joyous and relaxing moments and suspending them in a state of unyielding fear.
Tomorrow’s examination, my End of Course evaluation for my Single-Engine Add-On rating to my Commercial Pilot Certificate (whew, that’s a mouthful), is my next hurdle. I don’t believe there will be any issues, but the fear of the unknown is always the worst. I’m sure mine isn’t the only occupation that shares this quality. We all encounter situations we wish we could run away from.
That’s my segue. Running. In my experience, absolutely nothing relieves stress and clears the mind like a run. I’m getting ahead of myself though. I can’t start a story at the end, but for anyone who reads with any regularity, you know that six days out of my week share that happy ending.
I woke up this morning to a town blanketed in white. Yesterday’s snow had all but melted away, only to be outdone later that night. This morning I woke up early to pick up The Fiancée and give her a ride to class. It’s the first time this winter that I’ve gotten to utilize the four wheel drive on my truck. I was starting to think I wouldn’t get to use it. To my elation, I was wrong.
After playing chauffeur this morning, I went in to work. I only put in three hours today before heading home. That pressure, always present at the back of my mind. We were forced to run inside again today. I’m really starting to dislike this weather. A low pressure system is to blame for all of this precipitation (which is slightly ironic considering I feel like I’m under large amount of pressure).
The Fiancee and I swallowed our pride and went to the Colvin again. ADD Moment: One of my biggest complaints with the gym on campus is that you have to pay for parking. Considering my education costs could have purchased a small house by now, it makes me angry that they’d charge $0.50/hour to park at a gym which we’re already charged to use. End rant.
Today’s run was a shorter one. Had we been running outside, it would have been a two mile run. Since we were inside, I ran until The Fiancée said stop (guys, take note of that tip). I got in exactly 3 miles in 22:31, which is about 35 seconds behind my race pace. I averaged about 7:30/mile, which I can’t complain about considering I ran a 3.1 mile interval run Tuesday averaging 7:13/mile and a 4 mile run at 7:35/mile yesterday. For me, someone who trained around 9:30/mile last year, I’m very happy with the improvement.
As runners, we seem to get settled into a pace that feels “comfortable”. When I run 9:30/mile I feel like I can go forever (or at least 26.2 miles). When I speed up to 7:30/mile, I feel like I did when I first started running. Winded. It’s a great feeling. One that makes you feel like you’ve actually done something.
If my writing seems slightly incoherent today, I apologize. My test tomorrow has me preoccupied. After 4:00 tomorrow afternoon, I’ll be free (until the FAA Checkride next week). I’ll leave you with something that always cheers me up, without fail. The Golden.