Running Rambles #3 [Confidence]

Today I want to talk about confidence.

Last week I suffered from a severe lack of it and I wondered why.

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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.

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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.

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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.

2

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?

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12 comments

  1. It can be really hard to get back confidence when something like that happens! I think you have to remember your goal (or have a goal that really motivates you) to get you out there.

    Great job on getting it down!

    And yes, there’s nothing flat about Ithaca!

  2. I love that quote about failure being a part of success, and mad props on putting on the GRRRR face and getting it done. I think that’s one of the best ways to get confidence – facing your fears and proving to yourself that you can get sh*t done.

  3. Yay, I’m so glad that God has given you more confidence this week. I think that the more I’ve learned just how powerful God is and how mighty He is the more confidence I have. The more I think about my problems and worry about them, the less confidence I have. I don’t know why it takes me so long to learn that lesson. Some days I feel like I’m learning it over and over… Thankful that God is SO patient.

  4. Confidence is a tricky thing because it’s not something we can take for granted. There is always the risk of losing it. I’m glad you were able to get your back!

  5. I wonder why we gravitate so strongly toward black and white thinking? One comment can be made, or one event happen, and bam – all other thoughts fly out the window and we can only focus on the one (usually negative) that’s left.
    “I was less than convinced but nodded” —> I almost think this was the key. You remained open minded, like there was always a part of you that knew you didn’t believe those thoughts you were having. However you did it, I’m so glad you turned yourself around and went back out and proved to yourself how bad a** you are. Huge props.

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