I spend a lot of time thinking on my commute and I’ve been thinking about the power words and thoughts have on our success. While much of this is in regards to my running successes and failures, it definitely applies to other areas of life. I still can’t help but think of my last marathon as a failure and I know I need to shift that thinking. I strongly believe that this thinking is going to sabotage my future efforts. I am committing to changing my thinking from “maybe, I can” to “I will” going forward
The words “I don’t know if I can do this” came out of my mouth more times than I can count in the days leading up to my marathon. This wasn’t my first marathon and I had a lot of people in my corner. My husband is my biggest fan and hasn’t stopped believing in me. He reassured me countless times. My kids tell anyone that will listen that their mom runs marathons. Clearly they think I am awesome. My parents continue to be amazed at what I am capable of. I had multiple messages from my running coach telling me I was ready and that I was going to do amazing. So, with all that support, why did I doubt my abilities? Was I afraid to succeed? Was I too afraid to fail that I played it too safe?
As I look back on my marathon experience at Disney, I realized that I sabotaged my experience to some extent. When my right leg started acting up and I realized there was no possible way I could come sub 6 hours, I didn’t try as hard. I still had a chance at a PR but I stopped pushing. Yes, I was in pain but nothing so terrible that I couldn’t push through. I let negative thoughts creep in. I let doubt get the best of me. I let myself walk when running felt better. Even though the running pace wasn’t significantly faster, continuing to run the rest of the race may have changed my attitude.
I have said many times that I ran a slow race. I have thought to myself this race was a failure. Even when I called myself slow, my youngest daughter said to me, “but mom, you finished and
isn’t that what matters? I have trouble running a mile but you did 26.2. That’s pretty amazing.” How could I think I was a failure when my kids saw me as a success? What they saw was their mom taking on a huge challenge, pushing through even though it got tough and showing them that hard work matters. I was setting an example for my children. Calling myself slow and a failure was not the attitude or approach to take. Sure, it didn’t go the way I expected, but it was still a finish.
I have said this many times since that day. I am not finished with the marathon. I have a lot to learn and prove to myself. I am capable of more than I let myself think. My next marathon is June 14th and two weeks later I am going to take on my first ultra. I am challenging myself to stop with the negative talk and believe in myself. There may be hiccups along the way but I will treat these as opportunities to learn rather than a sign that I will not meet my goal. I challenge all of you to start looking at challenges as opportunities rather than failures. The mind is a powerful muscle, train it like you would your body.