crisis of confidence

Here’s the deal… I’m completely mental.  Not in the mental health realm of the word but I get wrapped up in my head a lot.  Obviously, I have been writing about it lately but on my run the other night I REALLY thought about what is going on with me.  When I set out to run, my main thought is, “what makes me think I can do this?”

a less than stellar long run performance...

As I was thinking about what this has been doing for my actual running I tried to think how I USED to do it – I know, a phrase I swore I would stop using but hear me out.  I thought back to when I would go running and these are the things that were different from now:

1.  I would just go out and run.  I didn’t bother with a real timing system and wasn’t trying to hit a specific pace on a certain lap or mile.  Just ran, pure and simple

yes garmin, you are so pretty but sometimes I feel trapped by you

2.  Maybe I was just naive but after my first 5k it never dawned me that I COULDN’T do it.  I mean of course I could – you just keep running right?  I had gone from being overweight, unhappily sitting on the couch to running a 5k!  When I was younger I would swear I wasn’t built to be a runner.  I would also say I didn’t know HOW to run.  Well, some of these are still true.  At almost 5’2, I don’t have lengthy legs helping me cross the finish line but the rest is all hogwash.

first finish line!

3.  I was excited about being able to run.  This is probably the most important of all of them.  Running completely changed how I felt about my body, my mental health/anxiety had decreased and it was time that was all mine.  I was also still impressed I could even do it!  Shaky confidence in my athletic abilities is not a new concept for me and when I ran everyday I felt like an athlete.

Where am I going with this?  The other night on my run I stopped to walk a bit since of course I couldn’t make it up that hill.  I was thinking to myself how it had been easier before, and then I started wondering if it actually had been.  In my “miles were easier/faster in the old days” mentality I am pretty certain I have romanticized those training days.  In fact, I am almost positive getting up that hill was always hard.  I just didn’t give up as easily back then as I do now.  I believed I could get up that hill because I didn’t delve into all the reasons I couldn’t.

first 1/2 finished! oh yeah, I was excited!

Yes, I had been in better shape but I’m getting there.  My mental state on the other hand needs a full work up.  It did help to realize training is never easy.  We may have really good runs but I doubt anyone is out there saying, “this running business is a piece of cake – I don’t know why anyone struggles.”  We all have the runs that challenge our confidence, muscles and emotional stamina.  I will see improvement!  But by stopping to walk every time I hit a challenge I am depriving myself of said improvement!

So that’s where I’m at… I am determined to shake this crisis of confidence.  I want to start employing running without my garmin, enjoying MY time going out for a run and refusing to question my ability.  Haha, yeah, that last one will take some practice but being a cocky lil’ sh*t has always been one of my strengths!  I am set to make these changes/improvements now.  Today.  Tomorrow in the Kal-haven trail run.  And the day after that.  All of the negative talk is getting in my way of enjoying running and it’s time to relax and appreciate the sport that has given me so much.



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