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?