What is your mindset when you’re standing at the start line of a race?
Are you doubting your abilities?
Are you running through all the bad runs?
Are you thinking about the missed runs?
Are you feeling like a fraud, like you’re not a “real” runner?
Are you worried about coming in last?
No matter what, people grow. If you chose not to grow, you’re staying in a small box with a small mindset. People who win go outside of that box. It’s very simple when you look at it.— Kevin Hart
Mindset is everything. Well, maybe not everything, you’ve got to put in the work, too. But your mindset can make the difference between pushing through the pain, between feeling like you’ve left it all on the road, between a bad race an a great race.
Turn your frown upside down
How you think or speak to yourself can be very telling. Do you find yourself thinking:
I can’t because . . .
I’ll never be able to . . .
I’ll never get any faster . . .
All very negative beliefs. All guaranteed to put you into a vicious negative cycle and a negative mindset.
So let’s rephrase:
I can because I’ve put int he training.
I have been working hard to increase my cadence.
I am putting in the work to improve my pace.
We can’t change what happens to us, but we can change how we think about it — we can change our mindset. All it takes is willingness and a little practice.
Mindset can mean the difference between unraveling or pushing through obstacles. — Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy
Nothing ventured, nothing gained, as the saying goes.
Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
— Winston Churchill
It’s telling, don’t you think, that Winston Churchill wrote the words above — because in his times, the stakes were so high — failure could have led to the total loss of our freedom, and far worse.
It’s scary to try new things
Like running, for those of us who not only never ran, but actively did everything we could to avoid running. Toeing the line at our first race is so intimidating: what if they laugh at me? What if I’m last (hint: no one really cares if you’re last, and if you are — so what? You’re doing something that’s great for your mind and body and spirit).
A trail run. A Ragnar. A tough mudder. A marathon. An ultra. At some point, no doubt, any of those things struck fear in your heart. I know running a trail race was definitely out of my comfort zone.
And sometimes you’ll fail
Things don’t always go as planned. Maybe you didn’t meet your goals (or even come anywhere close). Maybe you never got to start. Maybe you weren’t able to finish.
Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.
— Henry Ford
And you will grow with every failure
Failure isn’t fun, of course, but there is no growth without failure. And failure can be a great teacher. I learned to carry at least some water with me from hot races that didn’t always have water (or cups) at aid stations.
I learned that it’s far better to seek help from professionals when there’s a niggle close to a race, rather than stop running and just pray it will somehow go away, after a disastrous, painful half. I learned that my body really likes flat and fast courses with my awesome PR at Panama City Beach Half (read about it here).
Don’t get me wrong — never go out there believing you will fail. Where the mind goes, the body follows. Just remember that if you do — and you will — it’s not the end of the world. You’ll be a better runner for it in the “long run”.
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The forecast called for showers almost all day with supposedly a break in the afternoon. It wasn’t that bad in the morning and I decided I just wanted to get the run done!
I chose wisely. There was light rain for much of my run, but it went well. I didn’t push it but I’m pleased with my pace again. Of course the skies opened up the last mile, but I was dressed for it and actually the sound of rain is really soothing (not sure it would be for 13.1 miles).
Although the rain did finally let up a bit, it never really dried out.
It was forecast to be a disgusting day — a lot of rain and a lot of chance for thunderstorms. And they got it totally wrong. A little rain in the morning. And then it turned into the most beautiful day.
Good thing, because the treadmill still wasn’t running. And I didn’t plan to run through thunderstorms.
I headed out thinking I’d be rained on, but I stayed dry. It was a lot more humid than it’s been lately — and warmer (although not hot) — maybe that’s why it felt so hard?
Or maybe it was the fact that the last time I’d run a tempo run was the beginning of March, and that was at the bike path, which is a lot flatter than my neighborhood.
I didn’t quite make my paces and damn I was giving it my all. Some runs are just like that. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a bad run, just hard.
I was totally planning on squeezing in a long run after dropping Bandit off at the pet sitter. But when I woke up, I just felt run down. It’s always a struggle, but I knew that long run just wasn’t in my best interest this day (even if the weather was pretty damn awesome).
I did manage to squeeze in a 4 mile easy run (negative splits again!). I parked at the Salt Den, ran around the area, then relaxed there post run. I tried to figure out a way to just run there, but then I’d have to walk home — not enough time — or run home — thereby blowing all the nice relexation.
I just ran on the nice wide shoulder of the road. Stopping often to take photos. Exploring. Discovering a water fountain to refill my bottles in the nick of time. Favorites of the week
I’m not sure it qualifies as a favorite — but it was totally random (a lot of that going on lately) and hit the spot. The avocado I had planned to use for my sandwich on Thursday was way overripe, sadly. Unusable, in fact.
So I made a PB&J. And topped it with a hard boiled egg and some bacon. So you got your sweet, your salty, your protein, and your fat.
Not pictured: relaxing in the Salt Den and a pretty awesome Sports Massage + infrared wrap.
Just a few photos from the long drive down to Bryce Canyon.
Cute and comfortable — is that really too much to ask for?
Today I am joining up with Cocoand Deborah for their ultimate coffee tea date.
If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that there I was in TJMaxx last week, browsing through shoes (like I really need more shoes), when one woman came up to me and asked me about the shoes she was trying on. Did I like them?
I told her they were nice, but nothing special, and she agreed and put them back.
Then another women came up to me and asked me which pattern on a shoe I liked. We agreed on the snakeskin pattern.
There was a time I really wanted to be a stylist. I still think it would be fun. I enjoy fashion and I enjoy shopping. What could be better than making money doing it?
Although I once pursued my dream job, got it, and burned out on it.
If we were enjoying high tea . . . I’d tell you I know it was nice that the women agreed with me. My MIL has an annoying habit of asking me questions and then just doing the opposite of whatever I answer. Which is why most of the time I don’t give her my opinion. My MIL does have many good qualities, but this is one of her quirks that really drives me nuts.
Case in point: when we were visiting, she was making some fried rice. She couldn’t remember whether to fry the eggs before or at the end. I told her it’s the last thing you put in — so the eggs don’t get rubbery.
Of course she immediately said no, and proceeded to scramble the eggs first. I felt somewhat vindicated when I came home, made my own fried rice, and indeed the instructions said to add the eggs after everything else had been cooked.
If we were enjoying high tea . . . I’d tell you that at the beginning of the month I was feeling the effects of a couple of trips and a couple of halfs and all the carb loading that goes along with that. It was only a few pounds, but it just made me uncomfortable in my skin.
Deprivation isn’t the way to go, and clearly I was not depriving myself if you follow me on Instagram when it came to food. But it was also clear that something needed to change.
I ate savory breakfasts more often (the egg frittatas from Run Fast Eat Slow (Amazon Affiliate link) are really yummy, by the way. I stopped putting chocolate chips into almost everything. I made blueberry muffins (no chocolate chips!). I didn’t forgo chocolate altogether, but I did reign it in.
One thing I did get totally obsessed with was my yogurt bowls — you can read more about that in next Friday’s post. The gist is top it with the toppings you use at a fro-yo place.
I could eat that every day!
If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you I’m wondering if this is just part of aging — except I know plenty of people older than me who seem to have plenty of energy.
All I know is that when we moved here, I used to swim super early in the mornings, I used to sometimes run in the warmer months before the sunrise . . . and now just thinking about doing that makes me tired.
I just seem to be more tired all the time. Maybe it’s the eight years of often gray, often cold, often wet weather. You WA peeps don’t have as much of a corner on wet & gray as you think! Or maybe it’s just been that last few years have been emotionally and physically tiring.
I’m hoping that I find my energy someday!
If we were enjoying high tea . . . I’d also tell you that when we moved here I got into shoes. In a big way. Platforms, stillettos, kitten heels, flats . . . I bought and wore them all.
I don’t seem to have slowed down (much) when it comes to buying shoes, but I find most of the time I’m not wearing the platforms and the high heels — only very occasionally.
I blame the running.
Now my shoe shopping is a desperate attempt to find cute shoes that are also comfortable and make your feet feel good. You have to kiss a lot of frogs to find cute, comfortable shoes!
If we were enjoying high tea . . . I’d tell you that I talked about how all the recent travel has also contributed to my lack of energy. I don’t know how all you frequent flyers due to business do it! That used to include Mr. Judy, but the last couple of years he hasn’t traveled as much for work — with works for me, now he gets to travel to my races.
But I’m sure that as soon as I get home from my next racecation I’ll be talking about how I need a vacation! It’s just human nature to never be satisfied, I guess.
Tea? Iced Tea? Coffee? Decaf? Or something else?
What family quirks annoy you?
What’s your dream job?
Did starting to run change your shoe shopping habits?
Just last week I wrote about why racing can be important, even if you never win an award (read that post here), even if you’re DFL. So this week I’m turning around and telling you why it’s also important to just run.
It helps us avoid burn out
Has running begun to seem like a chore? Sometimes when we have big dreams and train hard for it, it keeps us motivated — and it also has a way of making us forget just how enjoyable running can really be.
It gets us out in nature
When we’re focused on training, often we’re running workouts that may be harder or longer. We can’t run two hard workouts back to back (or you shouldn’t). It can easily increase the likelihood that the only way we’ll be able to get that running in is on the treadmill. And sometimes the treadmill just saves time.
Yet one of the greatest benefits of running is getting us out of our house and into nature. There’s something very healing and soothing about being outside. And it’s easier to squeeze in even a shorter run outside if we’re not worried about completing our workout.
It’s easier to listen to our bodies
Racing sometimes pressures us to feel we must do all the workouts on our training plan to have a good race. I know not all runners feel that way, but many runners tend to be type A personalities and have to dot their i’s and cross their t’s.
If you’re running for fun, and you feel a niggle, it’s much easier to take a day, several, or even a week off until you feel ready to run again. When you’re training, you often don’t want to lose your fitness and you have a tendency to push yourself when you shouldn’t . . . like right into an injury.
It’s easier to socialize
You’ve probably seen the meme about runners and going to bed early because they have a long run the next day. Okay, so personally, whether or not I have a long run scheduled, I’m an early to bed, early to rise kind of gal.
It’s still easier to socialize more when you don’t have to worry about getting up super early to squeeze a run in.
It’s easier to be more daring
Who hasn’t been afraid to run a trail, or a certain distance, or in certain weather, or really push themselves on the run — or heck, even to take a jump photo — for fear that it will interfere with their race?
So let me know in the comments:
Why do you think sometimes it’s good to stop focusing on racing?
If you could never race again, would you still run?
What would you try if you weren’t worried about injuries?
The toll of three halfs in as many months began to make itself known in May. I am in awe of people who run marathons every month or a gazillion halfs a month. That’s not me.
Let’s get into it.
Getting in scheduled runs Cold, rainy long runs. Sudden 90 degree heat. Windy. May wasn’t a run/walk in the park (see what I did there?). Every once in a while we caught a beautiful day to run, but they were few and far between.
I was able to run recovery runs the week following my half at the end of April (read about it here), but I had to skip one tempo run when my hamstring complained. Which was the right call.
Recording my runs I’m doing pretty good journaling. Which is a good thing, as I needed that journal to see what I ran the last time I was forced to do a tempo run on my treadmill. But there were definitely a few times where it took a few days to get around to recording a run.
Grade Earned: A-
Dynamic Warmup I won’t lie, some days my dynamic warmup was very abbreviated. And some days I added in a few extra exercises to keep my glutes and hamstrings happy.
Grade Earned: A
I was “rolling” right along, until one night after a long run when I just chose rest over getting my foam rolling in. I really need to make more of an effort to do it as soon after a run as possible!
Grade Earned: A-
Respecting my body
I skipped a run when it became clear that my body was rebelling for whatever reason. I was tired much of this month, but I actually felt more recovered than I did after NOLA.
Grade Earned: A
I made a few poor choices food-wise in May, but usually each time I did so, I learned something from it. Buttered popcorn at the movies and an Auntie Anne’s Pretzel for dinner one night in the same week really wasn’t the best idea. I don’t get Auntie Anne’s often at all, though, and I’d been craving one for long time. Sometimes it’s a good idea to get those cravings out of the way.
I was getting into the sweets a bit too much — even healthy sweets aren’t healthy when eaten all the time.
I began to slowly clean up my eating (although you’d never know it from my weekly wrap a little while ago which you can drool over here!), and my pants began to fit a little better.
Grade Earned: B
Support I made my chiropractor appointment ahead of time. Although my left hip was really bothering after my last appointment — and continued to bother me afterward, too. Sometimes I’ll be a little sore after an adjustment and then it goes away. This was weird.
In fact, I runfess (see more runfessions here, if you missed them) that it was really killing me right before the Mud & Chocolate Half — but I knew I’d be okay to race, and I was.
I should have gotten back in there, but life was busy. Eventually it calmed down.
Grade Earned: A-
I fell off the stationary bike but back into the pool. And the sauna was fixed, which made me so happy. But swimming was only once a week.
Grade Earned: B
May 2017 gets . . .
. . . a B. Or maybe a B+. I did meet most of my May goals, except the meeting up with friends to run. My schedule just doesn’t seem to jive with my friends’ lately. I did run with Jan once.
Goals for June:
Continue keeping my journal up to date.
Listen carefully to my body again after my next half.
Hopefully Rachel @ Runningonhappy will be dialing back my mileage now that my next half isn’t until October. I’m ready for a small break.
Get back into the stationary bike habit.
Get new trail shoes so I can hopefully run trails again occasionally before it gets too buggy!
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The forecast was for a cold rain most of the day with a narrow window in the morning for dryness. I chose to switch my easy run to this day, since it was a shorter run. Of course the forecast was wrong and most of the day was dry.
I didn’t take Bandit with me because it had rained early in the morning and the roads were still wet. I thought that would make the run seem easier. Wrong!
My runs have just been kind of meh lately in the speed department. I’m not sure why.
I hadn’t done anything other than body weight training and Pilates for several weeks now, due to one thing or another, and I was pleased to see when I did Iron Strength Abbreviated later in the day that I didn’t feel as though I was struggling. Good thing it’s a short workout (but intense)!
It has been several weeks of runs that just felt meh and left me a bit worried if I bit off more than I could chew. But in general I actually feel okay (other than tired because of lack of sleep).
This run went so well though — finally! I felt strong pretty much the whole time. Regular run/walk intervals up & down, with no extra walking.
It was almost as though doing Iron Strength Abbreviated the day before, after several weeks of just Pilates & bodyweight exercises, flipped a switch (remains to be seen what happens with the tempo — always my hardest run — and this week’s long run). I was happy to see I could still do IS with seemingly no loss of fitness after several weeks.
Another lunch outside — totally random: baby carrots, one hard boiled egg, half a PB&J, one cookie & some dark chocolate.
Although it was dry when I started my tempo run, the cold rain wasn’t far off. Plus it saves me time to run on the mill. Not to mention it’s easier for me to hit the right pace (which doesn’t at all mean I think tempos are easy).
I got through it this week with no need to stop and walk around. Unfortunately, as I posted on Instagram, when I stopped it, there was a boom! And the next thing I knew smoke was coming out.
Keep in mind my treadmill is ancient and Mr. Judy already resuscitated it once. I’m not sure there’s any coming back from this one. And that really sucks with all the rain in the forecast for next week.
Actually, Mr. Judy determined it was the same part that blew 2 years ago and ordered another part. But I’ll still probably be out in the rain next week.
Finally, a lovely day to run! I may be dodging raindrops for much of next week so I’m super glad today was a nice day. I skipped the group but still got out relatively early. Mr. Judy and I were tag teaming with the dogs since we both had stuff going on.
I liked my Supergirl tank from SkirtSports so much I decided to try it out on this long run. With my hydration pack. And some arm sleeves. I won’t know what the weather for my race will be before we leave, since we’re actually taking some vacation beforehand. I can make a pretty good guess though — probably similar to today, but less humid (it’s desert, after all).
I began rolling the arm sleeves down after maybe half a mile. By the first mile I think I’d taken one off completely (thank you, Supergirl pockets) and had the other one rolled down to my wrist to use to wipe the sweat off.
I watched my Garmin a bit more . . . I’ve been running by feel for almost all my long runs for the last couple of months and they’ve been slow (even since I started back on the roads). I began to worry that carrying all that water on my back might be slowing me down.
I didn’t run staring at my watch, but I would glance at it from time to time to keep myself on track. I was rewarding with a decent time for 12 miles. Unfortunately I was also rewarded with just a wee bit of chafing.
Was the chafing caused by the top? The hydration pack? Do I stick with a tank or go with a tee? Decisions, decisions. Oh, and after washing the top, I can see the straps chafed it. Dammit!
Favorites of the week
No drool worthy desserts this week, but I did refuel with my fav: sushi, of course! I finally got a good photo of the peanut avocado roll I love so much. It’s so, so good.
I so didn’t want to do any strength training today. We’re having a quiet weekend, no parties, just the usual, really, and I’ve started to pack. At least I feel I made some good progress today. Anyway, I bribedrewarded myself for doing strength training with a yogurt bowl. I’ll be talking about these in some upcoming posts.
Finally, a sincere thank you for all of you — and your families — that serve so that we may enjoy our many freedoms. Your sacrifices are appreciated; never doubt it.