No one talks to me that way, or do they?

"Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt."
~ William Shakespeare ~

Why is it so much easier to question myself than it is to be encouraged? I guess maybe for the same reason it is easier to give advise than to follow it. I am finding that almost every time I push myself hard for a race or a long run I am constantly questioning myself. Lately the voices ask; “why have I decided to sign up for this 50K and more importantly why did I tell anyone I was going to do it?” and “It would be so much easier if I kept my big mouth shut to change my plans.” Maybe I just answered my own question, because now that I have put it out there I feel more responsibility to stick with it. I want to accomplish this goal but not put so much pressure on myself that I burn out or be miserable doing it. The last thing I want to do is dread the day I am attempting one of the biggest physical and mental achievements of my life.

One thing I have realized is that I enjoy running much more when I am running because I want to and not because I have to. The time between finishing the 1000 miles for WWP and the last few weeks getting ready for the half were enjoyable and rewarding because I was keeping up with and even increasing my weekly mileage without an obligation to do so. It seems that every time I put myself on a rigid schedule it immediately puts pressure on me and takes the fun out. If I cannot fix this situation it is going to be a LONG winter and spring. I want to work hard and enjoy running so I would like to make this work. I almost wish I had not committed myself to the big goal but that is what I have always done and this year is about breaking out of the safety zone.

I spent time during my twelve mile thinking about some things I am going to have to do to make this work:
1.   Get off the pavement on long runs as much as possible.
2.   Find people to run with some of the time.
3.   Continue to build miles.
4.   Find ways to build mental focus.
5.   Learn the trail systems around the area.
6.   Really focus on flexibility.
7.   Correct muscle imbalances in hip region.
8.   After vacation really buckle down and focus on cutting weight.
9.   Eat healthy and cut out alcohol.
10.  Find ways to keep training fun!

When it comes to dealing with traffic, exhaust fumes and sidewalks (I really dislike sidewalks) I think more trails is the way to go. So for now, I will continue and work on all these things I have listed. Running on the roads and paved trails when I have to and hitting the trails every chance I get. I am staying on track for the April 50K but I will need a lot of support and guidance as the days get shorter and colder!

"Face your fears and doubts, and new worlds will open to you."
~ Robert Kiyosaki ~


  1. You're a runner who's afraid structure will make you lose the fun...I was a non-runner who needed a training structure to find the fun in's a different fit everyone.

    But I can tell you that I learned the self doubt required the mental training just as much as my body did the physical training. As soon as your brain starts firing off those negatives...start visualizing the finish line. Start thinking about the emotions of it...allow yourself the buzz of knowing how good you will feel at the end..then focus that into the today and how this day and how training run might suck...but you will forget about it as an individual hurdle and know it is just one more step to that happy place at the end of the dream...

    Or....there's vodka...

    1. Thanks for your input. I guess I used the structure to get started but now I guess I just need to find ways to keep it fun and the stress out. When you think about it the #1 reason kids quit sports is it stops being fun. Why should it be different for adults?

    2. I think you did a good thing for yourself by telling people about your goal to run a 50K. It holds you accountable, which is a good thing. I did this for the first time when I told all of my friends, family and co-workers I was trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I was unsuccessful in my three prior attempts, but this time, I asked people to come out and support me and wish me well. A week after I told people, I was regretting it. But because I committed to telling people, I felt like I couldn't let them down and so I stuck to my training. I ended up qualifying for Boston, which I then ran the following April.

      In reality, your friends and family won't think less of you if you don't meet your goal, but they'll be so proud of you when you do succeed. I used to feel like running was a chore because I started running to lose weight. But it's gotten to the point where it's very meditative. And if you pay attention to the beauty of the world while you're out there, you'll realize how many things you'd miss if hadn't been on that run.

  2. Thanks Brian and congratulations on Boston! It is funny you stated this the way you did because I was thinking about it this morning and you are correct. Trying and failing is one thing but not trying is much worse. I have made up my mind that something may beat me along the path to this goal but I will not quit. Thank you for you comments and words of wisdom.


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