Today I want to talk about confidence.
Last week I suffered from a severe lack of it and I wondered why.
Honestly when I look back, it was silly. I put in the work, I had done everything my coach asked and she believed in me, but there was just something in my mind that held me back.
I just didn’t have my mojo. I didn’t have the history of being a good runner. In my head, I was a newbie taking her first steps. Why couldn’t I shake this?
Since falling a few weeks ago, in the back of my mind I felt like I was at square one again. I felt as if I somehow had lost all the fitness I had gained in the past few months. The fall was physically and emotionally just that, a fall. I took two full days of planned training off and could barely bend my leg. That first night was a really bad one for me. I was depressed, lonely and upset. Walking made me cry.
It was so far to fall having won a 5k the day before, so struggling to get up and open the fridge. I really did not know how to cope.
Luckily, my injuries were not as bad as I thought and I resumed normal training the next week. That week went fine, but after my speed workout the next Monday my coach mentioned, not maliciously or rudely, that it would be good to get outside soon because my race is not on the treadmill, it’s outside.
She was right, but it still scared me. I was scared that all the work I had done didn’t matter. I was angry that I felt so badass after a speed workout that didn’t really measure up to what it takes to race on the road. There was no gray area here. No grace toward myself. I stopped believing I could go fast simply because I trained on the treadmill for a month or two. My confidence was shot.
I was able to explain this to my coach and she calmed me down a bit. She said she stood by what she said, but reminded me that I won a half marathon last year solely by treadmill running and the muscle fibers from speed were there. The road trains the brain to push the legs to that speed. She told me to relax.
I was less than convinced but nodded.
Well, that Friday I had an interval workout planned or four by a mile at marathon pace. Since I had to work at 7, my coach and I decided that if I wanted to push that to Saturday and run easy on Friday morning that was fine. That was my intention.
I got out at about 5AM, headlamp on and listening to the Rich Roll podcast. He interviewed a Spartan racer, the name escapes me but just go to his website and the episode is there. He was speaking about taking on challenges and being tough.
Tough. My word.
I knew what I had to do.
I got four miles in, so a relatively flat (lol just kidding nowhere is flat in Ithaca) and did the four miles at MP. I pushed myself. It was really difficult because a treadmill helps control the pace. But I got it done. The scared little girl inside of me pushed past this obstacle and crushed it.
Confidence is back.
I know there will be other runs that challenge me, other times I will fail, will want to take the easy way out, but right now, I remember what running is. I remember what I can do. I remember who I am.
Injuries may happen. The miles come and go. But my love of running and the challenge of getting out there will always be a part of me.
That is all the confidence I need.
How do you get back your confidence?