Self-talk: snap out of sluggishness

So, last week I ran 25.4 miles in 6 days…and was mostly miserable and slow and slug-like.  I set a goal and I reached the goal, but it wasn’t very…er, rewarding.

I was reflecting over the weekend about the kinds of things I was thinking when I was running:

  • This used to be a rush, what happened?
  • I’ll never enjoy running again…the “break” over the holidays was a disaster
  • Maybe I never ran very well; yes, I’m certain I never ran very well
  • This new way of running just isn’t fun…and it’s too hard
  • God, I’m so tired, I just don’t have any strength

On and on.

I realized over the weekend that I was actually training my brain with all this nonsense.  In fact, I used to push myself.  In fact, I used to come to a hill and say, You can do this…over and over.  But somehow I’d stopped that practice–that’s really the only thing that had changed.

Interestingly today I headed out sort of sick of all that junk.  I’d had a cup of coffee a while before the run and felt pretty energetic.  And I’d made a half-hearted promise to do better at my self-talk.  I didn’t define it very well but just decided to be more mindful.

When I started today’s run, I thought: I’ll go as far as Holly and down to the beach and will not stop to walk.  I immediately started to bargain: well, if I just feel to tired…I’ve just taken two days off, maybe I should build up with a short run, yeah that’s the ticket…and if my muscles just don’t feel strong….

On and on.

And then I grabbed myself by the tee shirt and said: You are going to run the first two miles without walking, and then we can discuss it.  At every point when I heard that little wimpy voice say, “oh maybe I should walk a little now,” I’d spy a spot way ahead and say, “get there and we can discuss it.”

On and on.

Bottom line: I finally managed to get my pace for four miles down to the same neighborhood as before the holidays and the illness and the whole long dreary down time.  When I finished the run, I felt an old gleeful energy coursing through me: I’m back.

3 responses to “Self-talk: snap out of sluggishness

  1. That’s exactly how you accomplish it, you just decide to do it and stop with the excuses. Congrats!

    p.s. I’m a runner who hasn’t been running lately so can relate…. 🙂

    • Thanks exoticat! You’re right, and the self-talk has continued to help all week. Last run was a 10 min pace @ 3.8 miles. I’ve been focused on speed over distance to build a habit around pace–so far so good.

  2. Pingback: Running past 50: my nine mile adventure « What it’s like

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