A good old fashioned talking to

I have a confession to make.  Those voices that say I can’t that I worked so hard to silence in my early days of running have slowly been making a comeback.  They’ve been getting louder.


You can’t do this!  You look silly when you run!  Just slow down, you’re so slow anyway a bit slower won’t make an iota of difference.  You can’t get up that hill! If you go too fast you’ll conk out!

Lovely aren’t they?

Positive mantras have been drowned out by the negative lilt of self-talk.  This Unsporty Woman has been feeling defeated more often than not.

This has to stop!

Team Body is all go go go but Team Head is letting the Unsporty Woman down big time!

What to do?  Since mantras and singing songs in my head weren’t working it was time to find something new.  So I did!  After Nile 10 Mile I started to research being mentally tough with running.  The one thing I’d never tried was giving myself a good old fashioned talking to.  A pep talk.

Friday was a 12km run with Louise and Pauly.  I hate slowing them down.  They ran those 25kms last weekend over half an hour faster than me.  I was determined not to slow them down yesterday.  I ran at a pace that I thought I could sustain at least for the first 6kms.  I had the plan that I would shake them off after this.  But to my surprise I was able to keep it up.  I kept telling myself that I could do it.  I ran at an average pace of 5:52 minutes per km which is super speedy for me.  I haven’t managed a run over 10kms at less than 6:00 since the marathon.  Even up one big hill, when I could see Louise and Pauly creeping away from me, I set a goal to run as fast as I could to the top and I did! (I even passed Louise and Pauly!  I’m sure they let me hehe).   And the encouragement from Louise was wonderful!   As I was putting every ounce of effort into that hill she said You’re on fire Dewey!  Of course that really worked to silence those negative voices AND for once Team Body and Team Head were on the same page – it was all go go go.  Even Pauly remarked at the end that he’d expected a nice slow run, but that I’d made him work.  Awww aren’t they both so encouraging?  I love them both!

a lovely group of Launceston parkrun volunteers :) pinched from facebook
a lovely group of Launceston parkrun volunteers today 🙂 pinched from facebook
parkrunners running passed
parkrunners running
Now doesn't Pauly look positive??? hehe
Now doesn’t Pauly look positive??? hehe

Today Pauly and I volunteered at parkrun.  It’s definitely autumn and I was so glad of extra layers (and I’m sure Pauly was happy that I suggested he wear a beanie, imagine the look on his face if his noggin was cold too?

I cheered and clapped and encouraged every runner as they went passed.  Some just smiled and waved.  But some took my words to heart!  I was volunteering at the 300m mark.  The runners went out passed me and then looped back to the finish line – we have a changed track due to resurfacing work, my job was to direct runners in the right direction out and then back to the finish on their way home.  Many I cheered with Come on!  Big Finish!  Sprint to the end!  Don’t give up now!  Some runners literally obeyed my command and picked up the pace.  How good does that feel?  It feels awesome!  And it shows that a positive word really does work!  A positive word from others OR a positive word to yourself in your head!  Anything to drown out those voices that tell us we can’t.


Then it was my turn for some encouraging cheers.  Today was our first run with the Launceston Running Club for 2015.  It was a 5km run over a four lap course.  Some said it was hilly but I didn’t think so.  These are handicapped races so it’s not really the right thing to slack off – you have to do your best.  Oh gosh, I was nervous!  Just as I was telling myself it would be ok Janette arrived!  She cheered me on with each lap.  Her smiley face and positive words hit the spot.  I ran my fastest 5kms in nearly a year, unofficially 26:28!  With an average pace of 5:16 minutes per km.

It’s not about going fast.  It’s about doing my best.  It’s about not allowing those negative voices to influence the way I run.  To get to the end and say I did my very best on the day?  That is awesome!  The good old fashioned talking to and positive words from running friends is working!



29 and I have a thing going at the moment.  Nile 10 Mile I came 29th out of 29 runners.  Then today I came in 29th place but this time not last!

a blurry 29th finishing token.
a blurry 29th finishing token.

It’s so easy to give up.  It’s so easy not to try.   On Friday and today the negative talk didn’t get volumne.  I got angry with that voice!  I shouted at myself OF COURSE YOU CAN DO IT!!!  And I listened and I did.  I did my best.


Don’t give up.  Be your own biggest fan and keep encouraging yourself to do your very best.  Don’t let the negative thoughts win.  And never underestimate the power of cheering on fellow runners – it’s magic go-fast stuff.

an oldie but a goodie - Just do it :)
an oldie but a goodie – Just do it 🙂

Happy running 🙂

19 thoughts on “A good old fashioned talking to

    1. Thanks Fiona 🙂 and right back to you. You and your family inspire every time I see you (parkrun just wasn’t the same without you all). This talking to thing is really working right now – gosh I’d hate to be my mother hehe I’m very tough!

  1. Oooooh i love this post. Thank you. I have a half marathon tmrw and i’m feeling kinda nervous so I’m going to make sure I pump myself up with positive mantras. Thanks 🙂

  2. Ooooh I love this post. I have a half marathon tmrw and I’ve been quite nervous so I’m going to use positive mantras in my head throughout the whole race. I hope it works! Thanks.

  3. You inspire so many people, including me 😄 so you need to tell that naughty voice in your head to shutup!!!!! You were on fire yesterday Dewey 😄 speeding up that hill overtaking Hewey and Louie.
    We had a great run yesterday and I’m sure there are a lot more of them in the Unsporty woman!!! Xo

    1. Thank you lovely Louise 🙂 you don’t know how much you inspire me right back! It was an awesome run on Friday, one of those ones that truly is like a jewel in the old running crown x thank you so much for plodding along with me, LOVE our Friday runs!!! (and our running tourist planning 🙂 )

  4. Thanks for that post I have been feeling very flat and not happy with my running over the past few weeks. Everytime I read one of your lovely posts they help I also can relate to those negative thoughts you get while you are trying to run. I am going to try harder to be positive and look towards to the sky and remember why I started to run. I am sure my beautiful little angel will smile back and say you can do it. Keep writing you are such an inspiration to myself and so many other runners that are trying hard. xxx

    1. Hello Debbie x looks like I’ve been in good company with the feeling flat bit and not knowing it. I’m so glad my ramblings have helped to lift you up. I had a tear in my eye about you looking to the sky, she would be saying exactly that to her beautiful grandmother x Keep speeding along Debbie xxx I love it when we bump into each other, I hope it won’t be too long until we can say hello again.

    1. Thanks 🙂 this running thing is wonderful but it isn’t easy. Super impressed with what you are doing Miss Running Chick and in all that nasty winter weather. Roll on some warmth for you xxx

  5. You are doing great!! I once had to talk to myself towards the end of a race: “No excuses, just go for it! You know how HAPPY you will be if you pull it of, it is only a couple more minutes, GO!! DO IT!!” And I did it 🙂 Cheers Lisbeth

      1. Well I’ve got a broken bone in my foot but I’m looking forward to the future – will try volunteering and marshalling in the meantime! 😉

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