5-10K: week 2, day 1 {5.17.2013}

For exactly 51% of today’s 20 minute tempo run, I HAD it.

I was in a groove. My mind was empty. I was focused on my music and the sound of the wind. My pacing was right around the 10 minute mile mark.


And then my brain kicked in and put the kibosh on it all.

It’s so frustrating, to have so many discouraging thoughts bombard me all at once, while I’m working so hard. But I’m starting to learn that half the battle of running is squashing the voices in your head that scream at you that you can’t do it, that you’re not good enough, not fast enough, not cut out for this kind of thing.

At one point, I flipped my iPod to the theme song for Indiana Jones, hoping for a little John Williams inspiration and would you believe that the first thing my brain said was “Oh, no! Snakes!” (Ok, ok. Where I live, snakes aren’t completely outside the realm of possibility).

I mean, really. Come on, Subconscious. Get a grip.

So, with all this, I’m a little panicked about this 5K coming up in ten days. On the one hand, I feel ready. I am hitting my distance and my pace is respectable for a novice. But I’m so scared that I’m going to somehow screw up. Or fall. Or make a fool of myself. Incredibly ridiculous. In my heart, I know I belong on that course. I know that I am going to earn my medal and my time and that I’m probably going to cry at the finish line. That even though it’s only 3.1 miles, those are 3.1 miles that I’ve fought hard to conquer and I’m going to cross that finish line with pride.

The only way I know to overcome this is to continue to get out on the road and run, until I prove to myself that I am good enough and I do belong in the running world. And that’s just what I’m going to do.

As for today, no matter what my brain was telling me, I just kept pushing. I’m disappointed that the second half of my run wasn’t as emotionally satisfying as the first, but I have so many more miles ahead of me to make up for it.

I’m taking a break over the weekend. We’ve have about three weeks of go-go-go, and I need to give my body a little bit of a break so I can start fresh again on Monday. I’ve earned a little downtime, and I’m going to make the most of it.

Do the negative voices sometimes get in your head? What are your best strategies for overcoming them and pre-race jitters?

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11 Responses to 5-10K: week 2, day 1 {5.17.2013}

  1. Tammy says:

    Part of running is training the mind. It’s hard. You have doubtful thoughts. And when they come in saying you ” can’t” do this or that.. you have to overcome that.
    I am always surprised when I’m like ” hey, I did that!- I didn’t think I could!”- It’s an amazing feeling.
    You’re doing great keep it up. Running is journey.. and you lean along the way.
    OH! And racing jitters- I still get very very nervous, even the night before. It’s crazy. Hubby says I go into the ” zone” and all I can focus on is how I”m gonna try to p.r., what’s my goal, etc…
    Racing is awesome- gives you goals to shoot for and it’s fun to be part of a huge running community.
    Keep up the good work!

    • runswithpugs says:

      I wish I was better at yoga. I could really benefit from all that “clearing the mind” and finding my zen. LOL!

      These jitters are the worst. I am terrified I am going to throw up on race day. That’ll be one for the memory books.

      Thanks for the encouragement. And I’m kind of glad to know that even the pros get the jitters. I don’t feel quite so alone. 🙂

  2. Tammy says:

    There is no zen before racing! haha-
    And I have gotten sick. It’s not pretty.. but hey, means I ran hard right? LOL
    You got it. You do. I promise. And then you will be like ” hey, see! I did it!”- And then all will be well. 🙂 Just know that even seasoned runners have good runs, bad runs, and everything in between. As I once saw on a posting ” it’s not always p.r.’s and sunshine”. True true 🙂

  3. I definitely think that running is just as much metal as it is physical… Some days I mentally am not in the mood but physically my legs are ready to run. Other days, I mentally need to run but my body is exhausted. Those days when both agree are glorious! Don’t beat yourself up about it and know that everyone has those kinda days…

  4. Diana says:

    I am my own worst enemy. I usually “write” my run log as I’m running, and sometimes it just starts out so negatively that I seriously wonder what is wrong with me. LOL The other day I was running and I was SO tired and blah, and I just said to myself “I feel great!” I totally didn’t, but I told myself that a few times, then started thinking about how lucky I am to be able to run and to have a safe place to run, etc, etc, and my brain just stopped with all the negative. I had to fake it at first, but the positive came.

    So fake it till you make it, girl! =)
    Diana recently posted…Cutting The FatMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      Fantastic advice! I do this in my non-running life, so it makes perfect sense that it would apply to the running portion as well.

  5. You just have to remember that you have trained and practiced and prepared for this, and then tell those stupid voices to SHUT UP!
    Abby @ BackAtSquareZero recently posted…Strawberries & Cream Protein MuffinsMy Profile

  6. Karen says:

    Over the past year I’ve learned that for any race (5K, half marathon, anything) that you need to train mentally as we all physically. A good strategy that seems to be working for me is to have three goals in mind: one goal that is a little difficult (ie: a time goal that I would have to push hard for) , another that is achievable, and usually my third goal is to finish without giving up. This helps me to feel accomplished no matter what happens.
    Everyone has bad runs, let that experience fuel your next race! 🙂
    Karen recently posted…Weekly Workouts May 12th- May 19thMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      Thanks for the pep talk! I’m getting ready to head out today and I’m looking forward to making up for Friday!

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