Last Sunday I ran 9.5 miles in just under 95 minutes. For me, that’s amazingly fast and strong. At the end of the run, I felt okay and was able to run again the day after.
So why, in all of the half marathons I’ve done before, have I never managed to get past 8 miles without stopping and walking? Physically I’m clearly capable, so maybe it’s time to think about my attitude to running.
I am a classic self-sabotager. In all of my half marathons, I’ve never once followed a training plan. I’ve run junk miles with no real structure, and told myself I’m slow, I’m not very good at running, I’ll do my best which is pretty poor. I set myself up to fail, or to finish within the window that I feel comfortable in. If I don’t push myself too hard, I can’t disappoint myself.
For the York Marathon, I’m following a training plan. I’ve changed my diet, and the results are showing – I’m getting better. But even now, I feel worried to say that. What if getting better is too prideful? Will I invite the universe to give me a smackdown and put me back in my place?
I need to learn to have a better mental attitude towards my running. I need to believe in myself and what I can do, and stop telling myself I’m slow. One of my friends that I’ve done many 10ks with told me I need to stop checking my Garmin and slowing myself down to what I think it ‘my’ pace – just run, she said. I’m self-sabotaging by running as I think I should, not as I can.
To get through 26.2 miles, I need mental toughness as well as physical toughness. That’s one of my goals to work on now.
By the way, the night before that 9.5 mile run? I stayed at a friends, drank beer, ate curry and got very little sleep. Classic self-sabotage!