Monday, October 3, 2011

Having faith in yourself and trusting your training

I have an issue that I continue to work on.  Let's just say it's a work in process, and will be for a long time.

Self doubt.

I have a really hard time believing I can do something until I've actually done it.  For instance, this weekend, my long run was supposed to be 22km (13.7mi).  I have never run more then 20km.  (Yes, I've done a half marathon, but crashed towards the end, so didn't "run" more then 20 even there.)

Okay, but let's consider this.  I have run 20km, and it wasn't even that hard to accomplish.  2 more kilometers is only 10% and isn't even a stretch.  But, I was worrying beforehand if I was going to be able to do it.  Would I be fueled enough?  What if I crashed?

Okay, another thing.  When I was training for the Police Half, I wanted to break 2:30 for the half marathon. Yeah, I wasn't setting time goals, but that was the time they started reopening the route to traffic, and I wanted to be done before then.  I didn't make it.  So, then there's the concern: am I capable of running a half marathon in less then 2:30?

Okay, it's a bit blurry, but the read out is: 2:27:06, and 22km
Mind you, I ran this 22km in my town, which is fairly hilly.  The race I'm doing in a month and a half is in a mostly flat section of Calgary.  Barring complications on the race course, I think a sub 2:30 half is incredibly achievable.  Perhaps I should even set my sights higher?

The thing is, I'm going to have to start trusting my training.  So far, I've been able to train over the distance on almost every race I've done.  BUT, my long term sights are set on Ironman, and I want to do a marathon.  You simply don't train beyond the distance in those races.

I have gotten better though.  Early on in my running I had to fight the little mental voice telling me I'm not a runner for most of my runs.  I believe I am a runner now.  I just have to believe I can go the distance.

And, in some races, when you go the distance, you get a medal...

When I got home from my 10km run on Saturday, Spud awarded me with a medal for completing my "race".  I love the fact that he still considers finishing to be winning.  I hope we can keep that attitude.

A closer look at the medal... 

This is the side you get if you don't go out the door to run at all... 


  1. Love Spud's medal. That is the awesomest one I've ever seen. I'm not a runner...yet. I'm sure once I get there I'll fight a similar voice. But I disagree - you do train over the distances for Ironman and marathons - just not necessarily at race pace and not necessarily all at once. For instance, I saw many people that did several century bike rides as part of their Iron training and maybe did two (or more) long bike rides on successive days to prepare. Many marathoners might split it up by doing a morning and evening run to take it easier on their bodies. Watching from the outside, it seems that the biggest thing to train IS your brain! To make it stop saying things like "just finish that half marathon in under 2.5 hours". You see it can be done. Push it!

  2. I love, love, LOVE the medal! What a sweetie!

    Awesome run too!!! I hope to break 2:30 in a 1/2 but it will really be pushing it for me.

  3. Sorry to say, but you do go longer during IM training. Don't know about marathon. I swam 4 to 4.5 K in a pool several times. On the bike I did several rides of more than 180K, one was just over 200 K if I remember right. However (hangs his head sadly) the furthest I had run before IM was a half marathon. There were several training runs that were supposed to be ~25K or so, and I never made it.

    Trusting your training is hard.

  4. This might be of interest:

    Heart Size Predicts Endurance

    Gabe Mirkin, M.D.

  5. It's normal to have self doubt! I am nervous/worried about every long run that I do, even though I have done them plenty of times before.

    I would put money on it that you can go sub 2:30!

    Love the medal Spud made for you!

  6. Reading the book "Run Like a Girl" right now. Last night's chapter had me reflecting back to this over and over. It was talking about how sports help us girls put away some of these negative voices because (paraphrasing and customizing here) "the Garmin doesn't lie!" So go out there and "Run like a girl"!

  7. Awesome medal.
    I totally get the doubt and how hard it is to overcome it. I try to keep in mind that the race is just the reward for all the training.

  8. super cute medal. :) self doubt plagues all of us. if there wasn't a little we'd quite trying. but you have to overcome it to race. don't let it take you out though. hang in there!

  9. 1. Great medal - well done, Spud!

    2. You...look...absolutely... FABULOUS!!!! You must be very close to your goal weight, no? So fit and toned and atheltic!

    3. Self doubt needs to step aside. It's totally normal, yes, but between your training, all of the planning that you do, your committment and your sheer determination, you, Deb, can do ANYTHING!