Saturday, June 11, 2011

Self-Doubt and the Running Groove

I love running, but when I slack on it for even a few days, I progressively lose motivation to return to it. Self-doubt starts to creep in, and I weirdly think that I've lost too much of my fitness to jump right back into a running routine.

I really need to stop underestimating myself.

I just went nine days without running (and spent the past three of those days being sick) and was very hesitant to go for my first run last night.

Would I struggle through the whole thing? Would I be super slow? Would I hate it?

I'm happy to report the answer was "no" on all counts.

I actually did a really fast run (for me), averaging an 8:42 pace over 3 miles. And I'm not even exaggerating when I say that by the second step of this run, I remembered why I love running so much.

Despite my lack of training and my recent sickness, my body was instantly happy to be running again. My legs just kinda carried me along. I did get side cramps that I wouldn't normally get on such a short run, and that's a sign that I have lost a little fitness — but it wasn't the end of the world.

I constantly doubt myself and worry about unnecessary things, especially when I can easily compare myself to others. With running, I can compare times and feel slow despite having run a new personal best. With photography, I can think I've taken a great photo, but then look at someone else's photo and feel inadequate.

Karen Walrond, an absolutely stunning photographer, said at WDS that comparing yourself to others is a colossal waste of time. When you make comparisons, she said, you judge your insides against others' outsides. I have no idea how many years that super-fast runner has spent training, or how long that photographer has carefully practiced shooting. The comparison isn't fair at all, so why bother?

This shirt helps remind me that my efforts are worthy, even if they aren't the "best." They're the best for me, and that's what counts. I'm glad that I overcame my self-doubt and completed a run that I'm really proud of.

Here's another one to be proud of: This morning, I did my longest run ever — 11 miles, 1:48:13, 9:50 pace.

I felt great through mile 9, and then was kinda like, "Eff this!" for the last two miles. They were rough. My mind and body were breaking down. But I pushed myself and finished, and two weeks from today, I'll throw 2.1 more miles on top of that as I run my first half-marathon.

I'll try to stay in the running groove for the next two weeks by sticking to the DetermiNation training plan, which includes running, strength training and cross-training (I do yoga — my gym has free classes), and also by eating healthy and getting enough sleep!

Here's today's small-but-delicious haul from Whole Foods. A lot of people refer to that store as "Whole Paycheck," which I can agree with, but I think the fresh, organic produce is worth the cost. You only get one body! God knows I've put enough crap into mine that I could stand to make up for it.

I've only recently started really enjoying and craving cereal. I've eaten cereal dry my whole life because I hate the taste of cow's milk, so I never really got what all the fuss was about cereal.

In the last few months, I've realized I love cereal with soy milk. Hurrah! A whole new world has opened up for me.

My stomach was a bit off after the run, and this was the only thing I felt like eating. Yum, yum, yum. Let the food porn continue.

That brings an end to this extremely random running post. If you're interested in keeping up with my training, I blog almost daily at Dev On Running. Otherwise, I'll post an occasional running update here — the next one will be about the ass-kicking I give the Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon.

No self-doubt, remember? : D


New here?



  1. Devon, I'm a new reader and wanted to say hi. I read this post just before I headed out on my first outdoor run after three months off due to injury. It totally helped calm my nerves about running again, so thank you for the confidence boost!

  2. Thought of you and this post during my run this morning. My self doubts before I went: Haven't done a long run since May 28th; Haven't run more than 3-4 miles at a time since; It's thursday, who does a long run on a thursday? People who work or go to world domination summits on the weekends. But with the help of the trusty Garmin, a little internet accountability and the voice in the back of my mind reminding me I'll feel much better after I go even if it sucks, I got out there, did my 10 miles at a surprisingly decent pace and had a great run. I've been running for years and sometimes the doubt still creeps in. Nothing feels better than pushing it back out with some good old fashioned one foot in front of the other getting out there and doing it! Can't wait to hear how the 1/2 goes, though I have no doubt you'll dominate it :)


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