One of the most amazing things about running is the way it builds your confidence. How it teaches you that you can do hard things; things you never thought you could do. I still remember that I couldn’t believe I could run a mile — me! The girl who avoided running if at all possible growing up.
I can’t run hard in heat
I have believed this for years. And I have hot half after hot half that just reinforced that belief.
Until I ran Craft Classic Phoenix (read about it here). While I didn’t PR that particular race, it was the best I’d ever run in the heat . . . at that point.
I can’t PR in the heat and humidity
After running Craft Classic Phoenix, I just assumed that it was the dry heat in Phoenix that helped me run so well, even on a very hilly course. In fact, I assumed that Panama City Beach wouldn’t be a PR, because FL is always humid, right? Wrong! I got lucky and the weather was just right for that race and it was flat.
Going into the Best Damn Race New Orleans, I trained hard, but assumed it wouldn’t be a PR — despite the flat course, it was forecast to be hot and humid. As I kept telling my coach, Rachel @ Runningonhappy, I suck at humidity.
Wrong! Or at least wrong for me that day. And it was definitely hot & humid! Read that race review here.
I can’t run a trail half marathon
I’ve done a few races with just a portion on trails — dry, non technical trails for the most part. I run on trails very occasionally. So when I got the idea into my head to run a trail half marathon — with very little time to actually train on trails — yeah, it was scary. But . . . chocolate.
Some of my long training runs had me running at a pace that would mean finishing with the time limit questionable, and boy, did I question myself. Luckily, those runs were also on very hot days, and the one saving grace was that I picked a trail half near Seattle — heat would not be a factor; but mud would be. It was called Mud and Chocolate after all (read about it here).
I’m pretty sure most of my halfs will be road races, but if I find a trail race that calls to me, I wouldn’t hesitate to sign up for another one.
I can’t run a race relying on the aid stations only
I have run far too many races where aid stations would out of something, and often that ended up derailing my race. I need my hydration!
I won’t lie: the first time I ran a half relying on the aid stations, it was because I’d forgotten my water bottle. I felt so light! So free! Although I have done it since, most of the time, I really prefer to carry my own water. And now I prefer to carry it in my hydration vest (read about that here).
I can’t run a good race at elevation
Running in Sedona before Craft Classic Phoenix was my first introduction to running at elevation. Sedona is about 4000 feet. It was also trails. And hilly. It was hard, but so fun! The race itself was in Phoenix, though, and that is just a mere 1000 feet (although still higher than my 300 feet above sea level home city).
So when the Utah Valley Half Marathon offered me a free race entry, I won’t lie, the thought of starting a race at about 5000 feet was daunting. But hey, I’d get to visit Utah (I had never been), meet up with new bloggers, and the race was mostly downhill.
The race was tough, but somehow I managed to PR the mostly (but not completely) downhill course. The elevation made it seem a lot harder than I think it actually was.
The only way to grow is to challenge yourself.
— Ashley Tisdale
Try it, you’ll like it
I am not an adrenaline junkie and I tend to be rather cautious about most things. Just the fact that I ran 3 halfs in 3 months was definitely more of a challenge than I usually take on! Heck, essentially I’ve run 5 halfs in 6 months if you go back to October of 2016.
I will probably always have to battle with myself over things that scare me, and sometimes I won’t win, but I do know that I am glad that I challenged these five beliefs.
Once you just open yourself up and try, win or lose, your world becomes a larger place.
–Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy
So let me know in the comments:
What beliefs have you challenged (doesn’t have to be running-related)?
How did challenging those beliefs help you grow?
What’s your next big challenge?