It's Monday again and I don't know about you, but for me Mondays are pretty tough. I don't sleep quite as soundly the night before and I'm thinking ahead to the week and trying to figure out my plans for work and training.
My weekend was busy for sure! Was mostly at home taking care of business there, but I also had my See Jane Run 5k on Sunday. So there was the expo/packet pick-up on Saturday and the race and festivities on Sunday. The race brought up some feelings of anxiety and anger during the run, that I wanted to explore further today.
Today's Momentum Monday quote is exactly what I am needing to remind myself in racing and training:
This doesn't just apply to the beginning, it applies through out your training. I am not a "beginner" in the sort of way that I am just starting on my journey, I have been on my journey for a while and yet I STILL struggle with this mindset. It is always fun to try and best people who are running in the same race or along the same route while training; the mental training, you know? However, I find that I get SO fixated on trying to outdo or beat someone else, that I lose sight of the whole situation.
The sequence of events for me goes as such, I start out strong, feel great and enjoy the race. Then there is someone I get fixated on beating, a friend whom I was running with that is pulling away or even a runner that has passed me. I get filled with so much anxiety and panic that I start burning my energy trying to keep up or pass them, that I fizzle out and end up either walking a bunch or finishing at a much slower pace than I could have been at. I feel like I've failed myself and I fixate on that as the definition of my race, instead of my personal performance being the highlight.
I find that it is so easy to compare yourself to someone else. "They finished in a faster time than me and we train about the same, why was I slower?" Or "I'm fitter than that person, how did they beat me?" I hear so many complaints about why someone else was better and yet, they may have no idea what type of journey the target of their frustration has been on or how long they have been on it. You have to eventually learn that the only competition that really matters is the one against yourself.
Only you can push your boundaries. Only you can take your training to new levels. Only you can make the commitment to improve or, on the flip side, not make improvements. Only you can be the one to ignore that voice in your head that says "you can't" and to prove that you can. No amount of trying to beat others will make that voice go away, only you can do that and only you can quiet that chatter.
As for me, during the race I did have a moment where I wanted to catch up to my friend that I had been running with after she had pulled away. I felt the need to be just as fast, if not faster than her, but I realized that it just wasn't supposed to be that way for me. I reminded myself that I am still running with my condition and that I have to give myself a break. I quieted the voice in my head and let go. I let go of the frustration and the anxiety that I was feeling and just ran. I told myself to keep going and don't stop. Then at the end of the race I had my last surge of energy and passed all the people I had been playing leap frog with on the course for the front position of the pack. I may not have beat my friend and I certainly didn't win the race, but I did push myself and bested that voice in my head.