Sometimes in life we unconsciously, or maybe consciously, walk around afraid of things. I know I do. I am in week 7 of Boston Marathon training, and after taking almost two years off from serious running, doing interval and, especially, tempo runs, is terrifying to me.
I look at the numbers and continue to wonder if I might not be asking too much of myself. I downplay my ability and talk myself out of paces. I think about all of the marathons when I have crashed and burned at mile 22, left feeling defeated and unsure of myself. I continually tell myself that I’m getting older and maybe a PR isn’t possible for me anymore.
The negative self talk bubbles to the surface and I am becoming painfully aware of how little confidence I have in myself. Sometimes I feel like it’s easier to continue old habits then to change and rise above them. I’m so conditioned to talk to myself in a certain way, that it seems overwhelming that I have yet another thing to change.
Right before I did my tempo run this morning, I read my friend Marcia’s post called “Own Your Awesome”, about self confidence. I looked at what I needed to do– 1 mile warm up, 5 miles at 8:10 pace, and 1 mile cool down… I felt sick. “I don’t think I can do this,” I said. “I’m going out by myself, so I can always slow down,” I thought. Then I thought of Marcia’s post and said, nope, I’m going to try this and run with all of my heart.
I set out and told myself that I was not going to get hung up on numbers but just go by feel. I wanted my work out to feel difficult but manageable. I did my warm up, and my heart raced when that first mile beeped at me. Now the real workout begins. I felt myself doubting. I picked up my pace and looked straight into the eyes of my fear and did it anyway. I felt good, maybe too good, so I tried to slow down ever so slightly. Mile 2 ticked off and, much to my surprise, I heard, “average pace 7:10.” “Whoa, too fast, slow down,” I said. I cooled my jets and let the next mile go. “Average pace 7:14.” It still seemed fast, but I physically didn’t feel like I was going overboard, so I let my body go. I faced my fear, stopped looking at my GPS, and listened to my body, allowing it to go at a pace that felt hard, but not racing or out of control.
My last mile was an uphill climb. I thought I will never maintain this pace, and I did slow down a bit – which tells me I am still in need of some strength work – but I averaged a 7:34 pace when my 5 miles were up. I was more than ready for my cool down mile. Overall, I ran a 5 mile tempo at 7:24 pace. That may seem slow to some, and fast to others, but that’s not the point. Personally, it reminded me that I’m much stronger than I think I am.
Sometimes we walk around life afraid of things that we really shouldn’t be. We may even avoid or not do something because we think “I can’t.” I’m ready to tell that voice that says, “I can’t” or “I’m scared” to shove off- I’m ready to change the way I think about things, and do so in a very consistent way. All things are a process, I don’t expect to all of the sudden not to have self defeating thoughts, but I am ready to catch them when they arise. I am willing to self examine and ask myself “why do you think so little of yourself?” and “In what way does having those thoughts serve you?”
I finished my tempo run feeling confident and sure of myself. Why? Because I stood up to the bully in my mind. I told all of the people and circumstances that have caused me to doubt myself over the years to buzz off. I no longer need to believe or buy into other peoples’ opinion of me. People tell you you can’t because that is how they feel about themselves.
You say, “I can’t.” I say, “watch me.”
No more lowering my paces and re-adjusting training plans because I feel I’m not capable. From now on, I trust myself, I listen to and honor my body, and I embrace workouts that make my heart race or back off if my body is not feeling it. I respectfully listen to advice, use training plans to guide me, but it is my body and I know when I can push a little harder, or need to ease up a bit.
I am shifting to more intuitive training. I know that will make some cringe and criticize, call me crazy, but this is the path that I am on right now in my life, and I don’t need other people’s validation.
Me being afraid of my tempos has also got me thinking, “how do I limit myself in other areas of my life?” “How else am I holding back?” So I am left with that question, and room to explore it.
For now, I am focused on intuitive training and facing my fears… let’s see where this path takes me.
[bctt tweet=”Do The Thing That Makes Your Heart Race- a post about facing your fears #FitFluential”]
So I ask you… WHAT IS THE THING THAT MAKES YOUR HEART RACE? Do you avoid it, or face it?
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