Running Perspective

If you’ve followed along with my NYCM training this summer, you would probably see success and dedication and pretty solid runs and a solid training cycle that should lead to a great marathon (I say should because the marathon is a beast and you never know what you are going to get on race day).

If I were to be 100% honest with you, what you’ve seen on paper is not what was really going on inside and in my heart. I would actually tell you that I haven’t enjoyed this marathon training cycle. My weeks have been filled with self doubt and living and dying by a stupid number on my garmin and a stupid number that’s in my head that I should (based on other race distance performances) be capable of doing.

Somewhere along the way, I lost myself. I lost what I truly love about this sport, just running. IMG_7157

There was more than one day not so long ago that I would literally stop in the middle of a run and cry in frustration. Why am I getting slower and not faster? Why am I not hitting all of my paces? Why do the runs feel so hard? Why am I in pain? There were days where I would come home mad at myself instead of coming home thankful that my body allowed me to run 16, 18, 20 miles.

I analyzed and analyzed until I couldn’t take it anymore. Is it the heat? Is it what you are eating? Are you overtraining? Are you not resting enough? Are you just not ready to tackle a marathon? Are your goals too big?

Finally, two weeks ago, after one of those teary eyed runs, Rich put me in my place. He asked when it would be fun again. He said this isn’t the Elizabeth that he knew. He asked when would I come home happy that I went on a run because this is what I love. He reminded me that a year and half ago I had surgery. He reminded me how far I’ve come. He reminded me that NYC was going to be amazing, no matter what my garmin says at the end of that day.

I sat on that for a few days and had great conversations with two of my closest running friends and I decided I needed to readjust. I needed to change my attitude and believe in myself again. I got too wrapped up in a number and needed to let go of it.

After a heart to heart with Jess, we made a few changes. Oddly enough, this past week was one of my best weeks in my training cycle. I ran happy. I ran with my heart. I ran excited for NYCM. IMG_7064I won’t lie and say that doubt and fear won’t creep back in. I will say, to combat that, my goal for the next month is to have nothing but positive mantras around my house and in my head. I love running. Marathon training should be work and it should be hard but it ultimately should be fun and exciting, too.

I’m so glad I found my love again.

 Have you gone through this in your marathon training cycle? How do you stay positive? What are some of your favorite mantras? 

 

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Elizabeth

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8 Comments

  • Good for you for being honest to yourself and also with your trainer! You are a perfectionist and that is a god thing, but sometimes you can be in your own way. I’m glad you took the time to readjust your perspective and things are going better now.

  • Your honesty is really refreshing. I do think it’s easy to see your training recaps and think that it’s all been easy/straightforward. Don’t let self-doubt get you down – you’re a really strong runner! But you have to enjoy the process, or else running just becomes an obligation instead of something to look forward to.

    I don’t really have a mantra but sometimes I count repeats of 7s or 10s if I’m struggling.

  • I’ve been training for Chicago all summer long in south Georgia. I’ve felt the exact same way, and I actually am pulling out of the race, which is only 2 weeks away. It just wasn’t fun any more. And I’ve gotten to a point where it’s not worth the physical break down to run a marathon that i’m not mentally prepared for, or where I don’t really have a chance to improve upon my times. I was coming off of an injury in April. I blame that, and humidity. I’m taking a few weeks of easier, unstructured running to recharge mentally before re-setting my sights on a race later in the season. Remember: you can always defer your NYC marathon entry to next year if it’s just not working for you this year.

  • SO glad to read this. I went through 18 months of running not being fun. It’s such a hard head space to crawl out of. I am really proud of you and know you will run a strong race and make it FUN. Rich is a good one. 🙂

  • I really love this post today. Wait till you see what I posted today. You and I are so on the same wavelength, except you are coming out of your mental rut and I am going into mine 🙁 I loved every word of the positive swing you shared today. You are right, it will be a great day no matter what. As I always say, every marathon is a miracle. To finish should be impossible and we choose to do it anyway … and we do. I also think we are extraordinarily tired. We need a lot of rest. I think I’m going to only run 3 days a week the next two weeks to find my true self and truly taper. My goal now is to amaze myself. Sometimes that comes from a time. Sometimes that just comes from showing heart. xoxoxoxo

    P.S. My favorite mantra is: You are stronger than you think.

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