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You have set yourself a big humongous running challenge, something bigger than you have ever achieved before. Maybe it’s a half marathon, God forbid a full marathon, or even a bloody audacious ultra marathon, something easy like Northburn perhaps.
Everyone in your family thinks you have lost the plot.
Among your conversations with friends the word "crazy" comes up often in conversations. You get those blank looks, that look of pity… ah you must be having a mid life crisis, perhaps a case of depression, are you ok?
But you … you think "Yeah I can do this, I want to do this, I will do this” then in the wee small hours of the morning you are lying awake staring at the ceiling, your thoughts racing. "What was I thinking, I can't do this"
You oscillate between "Yes I can - being excited and on track, focused and yes confident, on the odd day you are even cocky but then reality hits and you have days of doubt and anxiety and after a bad run or two or even an injury, you start to despair.
"Hell Yes" Not once have I ever gone into a race thinking "Yeah I got this one in the bag, no worries, piece of cake" ...If you fact ever feel like that at the start of the race wait for the big come uppance.
But I have a strongly held belief or an attitude that says "Just sign up and work it out on the way" You never know ahead how you are going to do it, you just get excited about the goal and launch yourself into it full of motivation.
I am also a true believer in "Faking it till you make it"
Never have I arrived at a race feeling like I have done enough - always life, work, injuries, sickness or a lack of ability have gotten in the way and more often than not I have felt sick or had injury niggles in the days leading up to the major race. It’s your body and your mind conspiring against you to make you doubt, to make you pull out, to make you give up. It doesn't trust you so it tries to stop you.
Don't - not unless you have a real verified reason like a broken leg.
If it’s just the fear monster or his cousin the anxiety monster or the belief that you haven't done enough then don't let that stop you giving it all you have got. You will be surprised what you can pull out on the actual day that you could never do in regular training, there is something magical that happens when you put on that start number and lineup... you will find reserves and strength you never knew existed if you are just brave enough to stand up.
You have to "man up" or "woman up", feel that damn fear and do it anyway. Every huge achievement requires not only discipline, persistence, preparation and planning, fortitude and flexibility but it’s often requires "Big Kahunas”. When all the doubting, disaster voices are screaming in your ear try and find that quiet wee inner voice that got you hooked in the first place, that deep, quiet, confident self believing, strong willed little voice inside that reckons "Yeah I can do this and I am going to."
Sometimes it’s just a whisper but it will be there. Look for it, listen closely.
Meditate on your motivations that got you going in the first place "Why are you doing this? What will you achieve" who will benefit from you doing this, yourself, your health, your mental wellbeing, your confidence, perhaps your children who look up to you as an example or your friends and loved ones that you want to show.
It is there you will find your reasons to fight, your reasons to overcome the fear, the doubting screaming voices. It is there you also find strength in the middle of the battle to carry on, to overcome the obstacles in your path.
To reach the finish line and achieve your dream.
It will be worth it.
Take that first step and the others will follow.
Good luck team with your training this week. When you think you are struggling alone - know that there are others in our coaching group or in your circles that are probably facing the same problems. I encourage you to share them on this platform, half them, discuss them amongst yourselves and encourage each other to reach beyond the known.