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?