Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Confidence

❤ 
Confidence is a big part of running.

I do a lot of visualizing as part of my run planning. Usually when the alarm goes off, I try to picture myself dressed, running, and whistling.

Saturday when I woke up early for my "long" run I was visualizing running through the neighborhood and which route to take. I really wanted to run at least 8 miles, since my summer runs have mostly been six miles or under. "Seeing" myself finish usually helps me to get over rough patches if it doesn't turn out to be a smooth sailing kind of run.  Sometimes I will visualize where the stopping point on a run may be, or a point in my route where I feel like I should pick up speed, etc...

Hydration pack in tow, I was ready to go

Saturday I ran five miles in 52:03 (avg. 10:15), about 4.5 miles in I realized I wasn't going to make it much past five miles, my foot was aching in a strange place and I just felt done. I tried to visualize running back home to distract myself, but at mile five I stopped. I was a bit disappointed I just couldn't push myself past the hump I was experiencing. It was just one of those runs, I felt okay for a lot of it, but I never felt great or just zoned out. 

Luckily, I carried my timer (gym boss) just in case I was feeling funky and wanted to use the Galloway method.

I walked about a half mile, cooled off, and the foot cramp subsided, so I turned on my timer and gave it another shot. I ran four miles in 44:00 which was a challenging enough pace for how I was feeling. Even though it wasn't the long run I hoped for, it was still more miles in one day than I managed all month. 

One thing I learned going through this journey, is that small successes can build confidence. The flip side is, small things can suck the confidence right out of you as well.

My personal epiphany is, confidence shouldn't be built solely on individual events. 
I will not let minutes, or walk breaks steal my love of running and what it does for me. 

Running is challenging. Think about what you went through to get to a point where you actually considered yourself a runner. Tenacity, patience, perseverance, determination, physical resistance, will power, pain, and passion to push your limits. 

Doesn't that sound like someone who should be confident? 

All of my life I've been pretty uncoordinated, I was always the kid that loathed gym class. I still can't catch a ball, and it's true, I will never break speed or distance records, but I am not a quitter. I am an adapter. 


My confidence can be pretty fragile at times, but I am learning to remind myself I am more than just my last run.

Where do you draw confidence from? Pace, distance, personal strength? Do you take a rough run and just move on, or does it linger with you a bit?

15 comments:

  1. Great post. Confidence is huge, but I also think we need a bit of doubt so we can overcome it and become stronger. Bad runs do stock with me but they motivate me to become better and do better on the same run next time. Wait until the weather cools down, you will be killing it.

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  2. Cool photo (of you!) and I love the picture of the kitty seeing himself as a lion. Ha! When I was running regularly, I would draw confidence from distance, because that was a challenge I could conquer. I learned to build my stamina and was always so gratified when I could extend my mileage...

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    1. I am dying to get back to a place where running 9 or 10 miles a few times a month is my norm. I decided to give myself a break this summer since I struggle with heat so much. I have my fingers crossed that this will work and I will be okay when Nov. and my half marathon roll around :)

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  3. I love this post! Running is challenging but also rewarding. Most of us are never going to break any speed or distance records, but that's not why we run. I remind myself that every time I miss a goal pace or distance ... that running is supposed to be something I do for fun more than anything. The world won't be upset if I don't run a sub 60-min half marathon :D

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    1. I agree with you :) Running is very rewarding!

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  4. Great post Karen. I totally agree that small things can really effect your confidence for good or bad. I try to focus on the triumphs and the things I have accomplished to help keep my confidence up when I am facing something new/big/challenging.

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    1. Thanks, I like that about triumphs and accomplishments. I try to think more about the big picture rather than just the last hour :)

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  5. Running isn't always fun, or enjoyable sadly. I wish every run could be a magical one! I focus on how far I've come to give me confidence. I started out not being able to run even 3 miles without feeling like I was going to die, now I run 13.1 and love every second of it (for the most part!). No matter how seasoned a runner is we all have bad days, bad runs, and bad races no matter the distance. Hang in there!

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    1. I was the same way about a year and half ago, I couldn't run a 5k without a break. It's a big jump to 13.1!

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  6. Sometimes I feel like we are the same person. Lol. I loathed gym class, too. :-D

    Love this: I will not let minutes, or walk breaks steal my love of running and what it does for me.

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    1. I love that! You are the braver version lol Kudos to you for trying new activities and pushing your limits :)

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  7. I use visualization all the time...especially in the last miles of a marathon/challenging race. I see the finish in my mind and it really helps me get there. At the same time, you are so right about the small things sucking confidence out of you, if we let it happen. In my head if I picture myself stopping and walking, I will. This was a great post!

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    1. I love that someone else uses visualization :-) It really is a powerful tool. It works a lot of the time and helps me over rough spots

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  8. I love what you said about minutes and walk breaks not stealing your love of running. I am going to remember this the next time the PA heat tries to steal my love! I don't do much visualizing but I have been known to say mantras out loud to myself during the end of a race or during a particularly tough moment of a run.

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    1. I love mantras as well!! I have been weaker the past few months using them, looking at my old blogs a little while ago i realized that I use to really repeat things to myself. I need both mantras and the visualization :) I have to remind myself now so when I am tired I won't just fog over lol

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