Driving to Seattle after physical therapy I had the biggest realization in regards to my running: I don’t believe in myself.
Can we all pause and take that in for a second. It has taken me an entire year to realize this. When I dig deep down and shuffle through my excuses, successes, and the inbetweens, the reality and foundation is simple. I don’t believe I am capable of running fast. I don’t believe I am worthy of the title of being a runner. I don’t believe I have the ability to do well in the running world.
This truth is hard to swallow. Who really wants to admit that they do not believe in themselves. No one. Because we all put on the front that we can do anything. Regardless of if we believe it or not.
All this came about today during physical therapy, where we are celebrating my five minute half marathon PR while realizing that I can do something rather incredible in my mind when it comes to race day. You see, having a five minute PR on a half marathon is rather unheard of. Especially when my previous half marathon was only three months ago. Typically having a PR in a half is somewhere in the 90 second range. As Blake and I were talking, he kept saying I would get faster within six months and could start to compete within two years. “Me. Compete. Are you crazy?!” were my exact words in response.
One year ago I had a panic atack about racing a 5k and now I could be competing in a few short years. As we continued talking, Blake kept referring to my times. One year ago I finished a 5k in 42:58. I did a 5k on Tuesday in 32:45 and this weekend I am going in with a goal of breaking 30 minutes in a local race. The same race from a year ago with the almost 43 minute time.
Here is a simple fact: Numbers do not lie. At all. The reality of how fast I have gotten is clearly documented on my Strava account. The reality of what I can do in a race is marked by pace analysis. And yet, I still do not believe in myself. I do not believe I am fast. Yet, I have increased my average pace from a 13 something minute mile to somewhere between a 10:30-11:27 minute mile depending on the race. I don’t believe I can be considered an elite runner. But the reality is that by next year I will be in this category. I don’t think I can compete. But I have a mindset that makes me an ideal person to compete.
The process of shifting this mindset is going to be hard. Having to lie to myself and believe that I am capable, strong, and worthy will be hard. This might be why I have written Strong on my wrist for every race this year. My subconscious is way faster at catching on then my mind about having to try and believe in myself.
Part of me is afraid to believe in myself. What happens if I fail? If I don’t get any faster? If I hit the wall that my professional team is waiting for me to hit? What is I let the mental battle continue to win and hold me back? How do I recover from something like this?
But a small part of me is dreaming of the possibilities. The part of me that wants to believe I can do anything. That believes I am fast. That I am a runner. That I will be an elite runner. That I can do ANYTHING I set my mind to.
In some regards, I know it’s good to stay humble. But what happens when that humility is more fear then actually being humble?
This is something I will be working through for the next four months. Especially as I jump into the training cycle for Chicago. The process of changing my mindset will require a large amount of work from myself and will require me to trust my team that can clearly see what I am refusing to see. And this will result in a few break downs, hitting the mental wall, and having break through moments. I’m finally ready to work through this. To see what I can actually do and how I can become even better by simply believing in myself.
My question for you is this: Do you believe in yourself? In your sport, your work, your hobby, that new business idea, your life? What would it look like to actually believe in yourself? How would your life change? The beauty in all of this is that it is never to late to believe in yourself. Go tell yourself the lie until it becomes truth. I’m right there alongside you.
Until next time
-Be Fearless, Go Boldly