Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tough All Over

Runners are the kindest, most supportive, most helpful, sexiest people in the entire world. That is, with each other. When you are the one who's struggling, you aren't nearly as good to yourself.

There have been many times that I've struggled with a run. It's hot out, or I have a cold, or I have to be on the treadmill, or I'm a little sore, or I'm just not in the mood. Whatever the reason, I have just suffered through a workout.

That is when the nagging and self-doubt come in. As I gasp through my run, my thoughts turn dark.

What is wrong with me? I should be able to do this, no problem. I suck. If I can't finish this run, then how the hell am I supposed to run a marathon? There's no way I'm going to get that PR I want. Why am I even doing this to myself? I should just quit.


It's that negative self talk, rather than the cause of the bad run (the heat, my sniffles, whatever) that really make things tough for me. Hot weather will cool off, but bad feelings can linger.

My number one piece of advice for the topic of "The Tough Stuff" on this Take It and Run Thursday is simple:

Everybody is allowed to have a bad run.

When I have a bad run, any time that negative self talk starts to creep in, I remind myself of those words and change my thoughts to something else. I have also found that reading the blogs of my BRF's helps a lot - if all those runners listed on my blogroll and hanging out at Runners' Lounge, people whom I respect - can have a bad run, then so can I.

12 comments:

Laura said...

Betsy, I have the exact same thoughts! I don't run as far or as fast as I want, and I wonder why I call myself a runner. Today's TIART topic is showing me that everyone feels the same way, which makes me feel a LOT better :)

The Happy Runner said...

Yeah, negative self talk makes things so much worse than it has to be. It's hard to get out of your head sometimes.

Joe said...

I'm with you. My negative thoughts are always way more negative than my positive thoughts are positive. By the way good job on that incredible 20 mile run plus bike event the other day!

Joe
www.fitnessgeekga.wordpress.com

Nat said...

It' s amazing how hard we are on ourselves and how much support we give each other.

Thanks for allowing me to feel better about a bad run. :)

Frayed Laces said...

So true! If anyone said the things to me that I say in my head, I would tell them to go screw themself. We are so hard on ourselves!

Shilingi-Moja said...

I'm with you. Last Saturday, I found myself thinking that I had set my target goal way too fast and maybe I should downgrade my time by about 15 minutes for the half-mile.

tfh said...

Amen. Who hasn't had the "If I can't finish this run" thought? It is comforting to read that the runners who are going distances and speeds I aspire to have bad days, too, even though I don't wish a bad run on anyone!

Runner Leana said...

You are right - why are we so tough on ourselves? Even bad runs happen to good people, so you can't avoid them all the time. Plus, I secretly believe that the bad runs make you appreciate the good ones all that much more.

Nitmos said...

My demon is convincing myself I really DO need that walking break at mile 18 of the marathon - from which I never recover. Sometimes you can't listen to yourself.

Non-Runner Nancy said...

Beat those baddies down, girlie! You're right, we all have a bad run. It's part of the territory. And definitely, you would kick my a$$ if I said to you what I say to myself. HA HA. Next time, I'm going to pretend I'm talking to you!

The Laminator said...

Betsy, you are so good with your advice. True! Everyone is not only allowed to have a bad run...it is to be expected once in a while!

suzee said...

Yep yep yep. Best running advice I've heard: when those voices start, "don't pick up the phone."

Your marathon is going to be great.