When you are toeing the line at a race, you look around, you size up your competitors and then you start to compare yourself and ultimately question yourself. Am I that tough? Can I run that fast? Do I look as fit as that girl with the awesome quads? All these questions start to slice into your mind and the self confidence leaks out, little by little.
In the last few months and more specifically in the last few races, I have began to chant a motto in my head while running- “Keep your energy inside yourself, keep your energy inside yourself…” Basically this is my pep talk to stop worrying about where everyone else is on the course and to run my own race.
I have noticed how this has dramatically improved my ability to get in the zone. Sure, I still can’t help but stragetically count myself among all the ponytails weaving in and out of my sight, but I don’t fret about it and I know that if I stay within myself and run my best, I will have a fun day with results I can be happy about.
So this motto has become even more important lately as life ebbs and flows and stress sneaks in and sucks the energy right out of you. Work is crazy, life is crazy and my training has all of a sudden seemed daunting. I am tired, sore and for the last week, I have had a lots of little chats with myself (and the cute little devil on my shoulder) about getting going with the daily workouts. I actually gave into that little devil last weekend after a tough 26 mile run that should have been followed up by uphill tempos the next day. I got in my car to drive to the moutain and just sat there. I couldn’t run that day… the joy and desire weren’t there and that meant something was wrong.
I actually listened to my body and after a heart to heart with my coach, Scott, I think I am finding my energy again. I am trying a few things to get it back and am hoping to redeem myself on a nice run this weekend. I am confident my mojo will come back as I cycle through the final training phase for my upcoming race, Cascade Crest 100. (Yes, this is a change from my previous planned, Headlands 100. More on that later). For now, lots of sleep, modified runs, and well, just being still when I need to be. I want to feel great so that on August 29th, I am overflowing with joy and energy to keep me moving through the Cascade mountains. Just when you think you might have learned something great, the lesson comes back round and now I am finding out again how to keep my energy inside myself.