Saturday, May 7, 2011

Squashing the Specter of Self Doubt

After 13 years of running you'd think that I'd have this whole confidence thing down pat. Well, I don't. I have doubts. And I have them often. Although to my credit, I have gotten better over the last year or so. I do see that my hard work is paying off but....yes, there is a but.

But what?

Really there should be no but. I put in the effort, I train hard and I eat well. I am seeing results from this. Why do I doubt in my ability? I have tried very hard to answer this question. I think I expect so much of myself that I worry that maybe, just maybe, I won't live up to my own expectations so I start to doubt that I'll actually be able to do what I set out to do.

Silly, I know.

How do I stop this? Well, today I just went out and ran. I was supposed to do 20km but that turned into 21. I haven't done a long run since April 22. That's over 2 weeks. Between recovering from the Good Friday 10 miler and getting a cold, there was no chance for a long run. I was apprehensive when I walked out the door today. It took me a little while to get into a groove and the constant wind blowing in my face at about 25km/hr didn't really help either. But I chugged along nicely once I warmed up, hoping of course that the wind would be at my back when I turned around. I actually ran 21km because I didn't realize I had passed the 10km turnaround point. I was feeling really good. Sure enough when I turned around, the wind gave me that bit of an extra push and my hear rate dropped nicely. I felt good until about the 1hr 25 minute mark. My legs were starting to feel tired and sore. Not surprising. I soldiered on. At about 1:35 in I was starting to get sloppy. 5 minutes later I figured, ok, I'm going to push the pace home. Wow. That was HARD. I got to a point where I just couldn't make my legs go any faster. BRUTAL. I pushed as much as I could, up my street back into the wind. I was 1.5 minutes faster on the way back.

I didn't really finish strong but, I finished. And considering it's been 2 weeks since my last long run, I can't really complain. I pulled a 1:54:20 21km out of the blue. I'll take it.

Next week I've got 25km scheduled with a 10km race pace segment. Good thing I've signed up for the Mississauga 10km next Saturday night. I'm going to run 13km out to the start and hope that I can hang on to 4:45 km's for the 10km. We shall see. Getting that race / run under my belt will definitely be a step in the right direction to squashing that nasty specter of self doubt!
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