Run, Julie, Run - 1,2,3,4...30!
I admit I was feeling nervous about heading out on a 30-mile run. I'm not sure why I was feeling so nervous; I've been doing long runs each week in preparation for my 50-mile race. I've been logging in about a marathon a week. So why be freaked out by a few more miles?
But I was. I was wasting time getting ready, kept thinking I might put it off until tomorrow.... It was a lot like how I felt a few weeks ago when I finally did a 25-mile training run. I knew I probably could do it, but kept putting it off. Somehow really believing it eluded me. Of course, once I started I was fine. And I discovered that, yes, I can run that far.
So much of attaining any goal is mental! We can do all the prep work, practice, get ready. But often it's the hurdle of really believing, of trusting ourselves, that's the hardest part.
Granted, going out to run 30 miles really is kind of a big deal. If nothing else, it's a real commitment of time! But any goal, big or small, can have these little mental roadblocks.
How do you deal with them?
For me, there's definitely a certain amount of procrastination. I avoided making the jump to 25 miles for a couple of weeks. I wasn't feeling great, and the roads were bad because of snow, but really I was just making excuses. I kept falling short of my distance goals. The reality was that I was just scared, and I'm not even sure why.
I finally had to just kick myself in the rear. If I don't do the work now, no matter how scary it is, I will suffer on race day. COME ON, JULIE, QUIT WHINING & RUN!!
I just had to re-focus on my goal: I want to complete the North Face 50 mile Endurance Race in Bear Mountain! And a little extra prodding from my coach helped, too.
Once I got going, it wasn't so bad. I've been training hard, so it really wasn't that hard to push myself up a level. It was just my brain getting in the way.
Now, I'm realize that I'm running distances that any reasonable person would consider insane. But the fear, the challenge of pushing past our fears, is the same no matter what the goal is. When my goal was to walk to the mailbox after surgery, I faced the same fears, and got through it with the same determination. Regaining strength after treatment, losing a few pounds, running 50 miles - it's all the same. We can figure out what our bodies have to do to make it happen. But our brains are just as important. Keep focused on the goal and why it's important to you. And sometimes you just have to say, "come on!"
- BY Julie Goodale | 03.18.2011
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