Last Saturday morning I headed out for a routine 5K run on my usual route across the river. If it wasn’t very long before I realized it was going to be a bad run. It was extremely humid, and I was getting winded easily.
Here are some thoughts that went through my head:
If I can’t even do this easy training run, there’s no way I’ll achieve my your time goal at the end of the month.
Why do I even bother running?
I know people who do Ironman triathlons, and I can’t finish a 5K?
This was also coupled with me picturing myself at the finish line of my race, not meeting my goal and being disappointed. By the time I got to about one kilometre left, I didn’t know if I could keep going. What I noticed more than anything was a tightness in my chest, similar to an anxiety attack, which I haven’t had in years. Then I realized – that’s exactly what it was. I was freaking myself out.
I am no stranger to negative thoughts about running. I get discouraged very easily. I rant and rave if a run doesn’t go my way. My father calls it “drama.” I am a dramatic person and always have been.
Here’s the thing. I am not a natural athlete. I am also inherently lazy. I had to push myself insanely hard to get to where I am now, and I will have to keep pushing in order to make progress. I don’t work out because it comes naturally and I love it – I want to give up every day, and the only reason I don’t is because of the motivation I provide myself.
A little “drama” isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Having a difficult goal to achieve isn’t a bad thing. I finished that training run on Saturday with a decent time, without walking and without cutting it short. That’s because I pushed myself when I needed to.
On Sunday morning I’ll be racing in my first triathlon, and I haven’t had a great week. I haven’t worked out in three days thanks to my back injury deciding NOW would be a great time to return to my life, and a stomach illness that reared its ugly head yesterday. It’s the perfect setting to freak out, get down on myself and expect the worst.
Instead – I’m choosing to find my zen. Triathlon is FUN. Participating one of the largest triathlons in the Maritimes will be EXCITING. I will push myself to reach my goal, but I will keep relaxed. In the end, I’ll benefit from it. And the awesome experience won’t be turned into a negative one in the process.
I’m embracing the positive, and I’m finally finding my zen.