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!
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!
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.
Happy running 🙂