Monday, November 5, 2012

Thoughts on the Half Marathon

I decided to break today's post into two posts, to avoid one long post.  The ideas go together but are really to separate things.  As I wrote in my last post, I've been dealing with problems regarding my running lately.  I'm not pushing myself as hard as I can. When these thoughts occur, I start to second guess my decision to do the half marathon.

I feel like "if I can't even do this, what makes me think I can do that?"

These thoughts have got to stop. By thinking in a negative way I'm only going to allow myself to feel negative about myself.  So much of this journey has been as much mental as it has been physical. I need to stop letting that voice in my head tell me I can't.  I don't know what's happened lately, but that voice is making me feel inadequate.  Stupid voice. 

I thought I had let this voice go. That I was no longer going to think negative thoughts about myself.  My self-esteem had improved. I'm not sure what it is, but lately it's been a little shaken. Lately I've been battling negative self-thoughts again.

Maybe it's just been hormones.  I hope anyway. 

If that's the case, it'll be short-term.  If that's not the case, then I need to keep fighting because nothing is going to drag me down...Including myself. Even if it's not in running, I'll push in other ways to avoid falling victim to negativity. While this is all self-induced, that includes others.

I decided to look up some posts on previous Disney's Princess Half Marathon experiences this evening since I am feeling so inadequate.  I wanted to see how other people did... I wanted to know their times. I wanted to know if they walked at all. I think I looked these things up to have comfort in my own abilities. Knowing that other people will be there who are around my same level of fitness is reassuring.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that some people walk the half. Yes, many of them go with the intention of walking it.  At points some of the runners have to walk because it's so crowded and until things thin out and space opens up, they have no where to go. Then there are the photo ops with characters.  I've considered not waiting in line to have my picture taken with characters because I want to have a good run time.

I read somewhere that someone said not to do this run for time. This one is not about setting a new PR... Although for me it will be since it'll be my first half. It'll give me a place to start; a new time to beat. Anyway, with the walkers making it hard to run at times, there will be times when striving for that new PR just won't work well.

This was a comfort too.

I don't know that my fear about this race is finishing as much as it is my own performance.  I am confident that I can finish it. I may not (probably will not) be able to run the whole thing, or I may have to move to a slow jog, but I will finish it.  I worry about my time... Or how much of it I can run.

I also realized that I sometimes get a little race anxiety because I fear that "everyone else" will be an outstanding runner.  I worry that everyone will be running ten minute (or less!) miles and I'll be stuck in the 11-minute zone.  I don't know why this bothers me... But I really, really do not want to be last. For some reason that would be embarrassing to me. Forget the fact that I'm doing my first half.... Or even if I do a better mile time. For some reason it is much easier for me to look at the potential negatives than it is for me to look at the potential positives. 

After reading so many posts, with varying experiences, I feel a lot more confident in myself. I won't be "the worst" one there. When I think about that, it's not in a mean way toward others. I'm not saying "haha, you stink!" It's completely about me; no one else. In fact, I'd feel the complete opposite about anyone else. I'll be proud of anyone crossing that finish line. Heck, I'll be proud of anyone who attempted it, even if they couldn't finish. I'll encourage and motivate fellow runners. Even the last place person... Because they did something that not everyone does, they did their best, and they reached a goal. There are only good things to be said about a person who does so well.

I need to remember that no matter the outcome it is about pushing myself to do my best. I CAN finish this half marathon... So I most likely will not run it all? What's wrong with that? The answer is nothing. I just have to convince myself of that!! I am most definitely my own toughest critic.


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