MIND OVER MATTER
Both today's workout and Friday's were the best I have had in a long time. Granted, I had a rest day in between these workouts and I got to complete them in my favorite gym. It's so weird to me that I was able to run 6 miles both days with no problem, but the whole time I was running in the dungeon last week 4 miles was all I could manage. Like, physically I can run 6 miles at 8:50 pace and not feel that terrible or pukey at Total Body Fitness. But, the minute I have to run at the gym back at Hillcrest, both my legs and my brain are just like NOPE, not happening. I definitely feel it's more of a mental/mindset issue than it is my body just not being able to do the mileage or pace on the treadmill there.
For instance, even though I felt good from the minute I started running today, I still wasn't able to push myself that hard to the point where I felt like I was dying or that today just might be the first time ever that I fall off a treadmill. Once, I've gone to that place during a run and survived it feels so damn good and empowering. But, getting to that point is such a struggle. And since I was riding the struggle bus both pace wise and distance wise lately when it comes to running, playing it safe sounded like the most logical option. However, once I hit the 4 mile mark, I knew I would for sure be running the full 6...so I really should have been upping the speed way more often at that point. It wasn't until I was 5.5 miles in that I realized just how much I wanted a new 6 mile treadmill pr. And of course by that point it was too late. If I had just pushed a little harder at around mile 5 or so I am totally confident that I could have done it. And yeah I ran way faster today than I did on Friday, but it still sucks knowing that I had more effort left at the end that I could have used.
Same story when it came to back squats today. I called it quits at 115 lbs for 3 reps even though my legs/back felt fine. Although, in my defense, I didn't know for sure what my previous PR was and I was super afraid of getting stuck at the bottom and wiping out in front of everyone at the gym (all 3 other people besides me). Come to find out, my old PR was 120 lbs for 3. So, I probably could have gone for a single rep at 125 lbs and not been such a dummy and asked someone to spot me. Luckily, I was at least able to hit a new front squat, calf raises, and goblet squats. And the biggest factor in helping me to hit these prs was not focusing on how much weight I was doing. Instead I focused on using good forms and just not letting the weight scare me.
The one thing that really seems to be holding me back lately (and not just in the gym) is self-doubt and thinking I'm not good enough. It's a big problem. Heck, it's part of the reason that I went almost 22 years without ever going on a date. And it's something that takes constant work and attention to overcome. One of the biggest things that running has taught me over the years that I find applicable to literally every aspect of my life is this, "Focus on the mile that you're in and getting through it." It's so easy to get to the 3 mile point in a 6-9 mile long run and think I cannot physically/mentally go another 3-6 miles. Instead, when you reach that wall (in running and life) just focus on getting through the next mile/minute/day/week. That's what got me to push myself to run faster today and make it the full 6 miles instead of quitting at 3 miles like I wanted to. Well, that and thinking about having someone waiting at the finish line for me with an armful of puppies that I couldn't pet or hold unless I did my 6 miles at a decently fast pace.
Not to get too personal, but having someone (or multiple people) that hype you up in life and make you feel like you're a solid 10 even when you feel like a 1 or 2 makes this whole mind over matter thing much more doable. It's hard to overcome the mental barriers you encounter or push outside your comfort zone if you don't have those people in your life who you know believe in you and are counting on you to give 100% with whatever goals your chasing after. And if you don't have those person/persons in your life, then be that person for yourself. For the longest time, that was my go to strategy, way back when I wasn't a "real runner" and didn't wanna bore anyone with just how much I was into running and all my fitness goals. What I've come to find, even if people aren't into the whole gym/running scene, if they really care about you they wanna hear all about how much it means to you and how you wanna run a half-marathon even though it scares the shit out of you. Never be afraid to open up to those people closest to you about your goals/passions just because you think they'll think that they are stupid or boring or whatever. Because, people will surprise you with just how interested they are in your running (or whatever your passionate about) and ask all the right questions just to see that smile on your face and look of excitement in your eyes.