Well, I finally did it. I ran my longest ever! I set out to do a 7 mile run last Saturday, and I did it! It was a huge confidence booster.
As, most know I had been having some issues. I think it started out physically and some of it became mental. I have figured out how to manage it now. I am running in the Hoka One Stinson shoe, and using the green SuperFeet inserts. Those inserts are a miracle, I swear. I was pounding on the instep at the bottom of my foot and it was so painful to put any pressure on them. My doctor recommended I use these, and a few runners mentioned how well they worked for them. I have to agree. They have helped tremendously. Also, I started yoga and using Jeff Galloway’s method of running 4 minutes and walking 1 minute ratio. This also, has helped me. I don’t feel as much pressure on myself mentally, and I take one mile at a time. I am not so exhausted that I mentally freak myself out about running a long distance. I can do it. I know I can with that ratio. So, I am working on my endurance, and moving forward.
Also, something had happened to me mentally. I was beginning to feel judgement. I found myself not sharing my concerns, or achievements anymore. I began feeling shamed. Whether it was real or just my perception it began to affect me. I realized this when I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen since I signed up for the half marathon. She said something that stuck. She noticed I wasn’t talking as excitedly and that I seemed to lose the love I had been feeling the last time I saw her. I had to agree. I began to feel my little achievements weren’t noteworthy enough to mention anymore. But, that is not because they weren’t! They are! I am pretty good about not letting others define me, but I do take the bait sometimes. It’s human. Others might have low self esteem, or extremely high expectations of themselves. I can’t compete with others. Maybe running 7 miles is nothing to some, and not noteworthy–except to say, “now you can work on improving your time” or “that isn’t going the distance” implying I need to work harder. It seemed the message was I am not ever working hard enough. I began to doubt myself.
I need to remind myself, I am NOT going for a record. I am NOT trying to be an elite athlete. I want to complete this half marathon within 3 hours. That IS a DOABLE goal. And it is MY goal. I am not running anyone’s else’s race. It’s a little under a 14 minute pace. I completed my first long run in just over 14 minute mile pace, which in Jeff Galloway’s book, he says the training long run should be a tad slower than the pace you want. That was my first long run. How can I not improve? I am trying to build my endurance and lengthen the time I can run. If I am consistent I think the pace is an obtainable goal.
I have started running on my own for just a few weeks. I wanted to work out my issues on my own, and fix them. I am determined to find solutions and I do want to complete this goal. I am dedicated. I have a full time job, and a pre-school aged child I take care of. And with all that, I have managed every week to do something toward my goal. I may not be running myself into the ground with training, but, I have managed to run between 2-4 times a week (depending on the week and body ailments) and now yoga once a week with the elliptical sprinkled in.
I am happy to say I feel more positive again, and believe I can do this. I know its getting down to about 12 weeks before the race, so I am focusing on getting my long run in and increasing it.
Something else I am excited about is- I signed up to be a running buddy for “Girls on the Run.” It’s an organization that teaches self empowerment, confidence, and self esteem through running. I am running with a little girl in a 5K next weekend. It’s their grand finale in the 10 week program. I am so glad I get to do this. It’s very important to me to always help girls grow up to be strong, independent, self confident women. Anytime I can support a cause that helps women and children I am thrilled to be a part of it. It makes me feel good! So, I need this just as much as they do. It will help me remember I can fulfill my goals, and maybe I will inspire someone else along the way when they need it. We all need each other at the end of the day. xoxo