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!


Kate Milberry said...

I understand the "but"... It's not just about your fitness or your running time. It's other things. But we don't always acknowledge it....:) You are a credit!

Anonymous said...

Nice job getting out to run despite having your doubts. I struggle with them all the time. Some days I feel like I'll never get back to my former fitness level. Getting out the door and doing a run with no purpose other than to run by how you feel, both in time and length, is great! Good luck at the 10km next weekend!

Phaedra Kennedy said...

Thanks Kate and Paul! :)