Today, I was planning to blog about my ‘running progress report’ anticipating that I would have a good run today, dammit (despite uber high humidity and temps in the 80s…at 5 am), but instead, I sit here stuck in another comparison game with myself.
During the barre n9ne challenge (which is three days from completion, I might add. Sniff. Excited at measuring in on Thursday though!), I’ve come to realize how much I fall into the comparison game. Against myself, against my sister Jess, against other bloggers, and against the mirror.
The good news is, I think I have tackled comparing myself body-wise to others and the mirror (more my friend than my enemy now – big rock!). The bad news is, that comparison game has shifted into my struggles with running.
During this morning’s run, I started out strong, I felt relatively fast (side note I might add, on Sunday’s run with M, our first mile out of the gate? An 8.25 minute mile…I’ve never run that fast. Of course, that was followed by the next several that were struggles as the sun was blazing hot and I lost my focus a bit, but managed and didn’t panic) and was relieved the sun was not yet out. But as I started to tire and my breathing labored, I slid back into comparison mode. I compared myself to my sister, running with ease (as she heroically kept me going, helped me breathe and was honestly my rock and savior. Thank you sis), I thought about how effortless M and my brother in law Scott make it look, I thought about other blogs I read and their own running triumphs and wondered when I would have my own…
…if I would have my own.
I started to think that maybe I am not a half-marathoner. Maybe I am destined only to reach a 10K and no further. Nothing to balk at, but deep down, I want to run this half marathon to prove to myself that I can. And not give in to comparisons, fears, and panic. I started to feel ashamed of myself as I allowed myself to go into hyperventilation mode as we neared the last hill. I was crying in anger, pain and fear. And massive frustration that I let my mind take over and not conquer it.
You see, I am not weak though.
I am strong. I am able. I am fully capable.
It’s not my legs that won’t carry me. It’s my mind that won’t believe. It’s my breaths that mimic my fear, not my ability.
I need to take the advice I uttered to myself and to M this weekend. I need to take it one run at a time, and not leap ahead to planning runs (and distance) for the week or month or half marathon. Just one run at a time.
I wish I was better at envisioning myself after the run, sweaty, but accomplished, legs tired and tight, but strong and worked.
I wish I was better at breathing…consistently.
I wish I could stand proud, not feel ashamed.
I am…determined to fix this, to erase the mental block and just do this. I know I said pretty much the same thing last week in my plea for running help. But I saw it most clearly today when I began to panic. It’s not because I can’t do it, it’s because I am not letting myself. I am going halfway and then stopping. If I can conquer this barre n9ne challenge, I sure as hell can conquer my running struggles, the comparison game and – hopefully – this half marathon.
I am committed. I have to be.
“Run if you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must…but never, ever, ever give up”