I Can and I Will

So here we are, less than six weeks until race day, and it starts…

I don’t know if I can do it.
I haven’t trained as much as I should have done by this stage.
I’ve been injured.
Maybe I should switch to a shorter distance.
I’ll never make that cut off time.

And on and on..

The same thing happened to me last year; the panic sets in and I start to give myself reasons and excuses why I will fail. I even do this self sabotage on training runs when there is a nice, sweet, kind voice in my head telling me that, “It’s ok, you’re tired, you can walk. You don’t have to run. You’re doing as well as you can. You know this is too far for you. Why don’t you cut this run short?”

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Research shows that negative thinking like this can mean that you’ve defeated yourself before you’ve even started. Sports psychologists recommend training your brain like you train your body and studies have shown that positive self talk can increase endurance and lower the rate of perceived effort (RPE) meaning that the exercise feels easier.

I recently read a post on social media where runners were discussing mantras and as you would expect, these were all positive. This started me thinking what my little voice says when I am running and was surprised to realise that I am way too kind! I need to get tough with myself and create a strong and tough mindset.

My plan for this week is to focus more on positive self talk, visualise myself at the finish line with that sweet, shiny medal and come up with a mantra to help banish those damaging thoughts that creep in!
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How do you get through the tough times? Do you have a mantra?

Questions and Frustrations

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As at the time of writing this, I haven’t run for four days…

Like many runners, I have the occasional ache and pain, some of which seem to reappear every so often. However, I am lucky enough to have never had an injury that has stopped me from running. Until now.

Without launching into a long and boring list of symptoms, I think it may be because my hips are wonky! I first saw a physiotherapist about hip pain over 15 years ago, way before I ever started running and I think I have been treating symptoms rather than causes ever since. The latest ache turned into a big ache in the middle of a run and so I have an appointment with a new sports injury therapist in a couple of days.

In my few days off, I have found myself looking enviously at other runners, staring wistfully at snow free trails and surfing running shoe stores online with credit card in hand. All this has made my mind race on from where it should realistically be and start to wonder What if? What if I can’t run for ages? What if I could never run again? What would I do? and more importantly, Who would I be?

It probably sounds crazy to non runners, but I’ll bet most of you readers will understand exactly what I mean. Running has become such a part of me, it’s what I love to do and it’s a huge part of who I am. It has made me healthy and happy. It has helped me through some very stressful and difficult times and been the source of great celebrations. Running has enabled me to meet so many inspiring people and travel to many beautiful parts of the world. It has given me such wonderful experiences such as being an ambassador for brands and races, helping organize local events and being on radio and television.

So as I wait for my appointment, I will try not to panic about the training I should be doing. I will be happy for other runners who are out there when I’m not and I will commit to whatever the therapist tells me to do.

But first, I think I will just press that little button that says ‘order now’…

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