BREAKING BARRIERS // THE 90:10 RULE
Injury. Lack of sleep. Self-doubt. The dreadmill. Running in shorts or a tank top (or both). The list of potential barriers when it comes to running your best run, pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone is an endless one. It's full of excuses and perfectly logical explanations to why you didn't run a certain pace or hit a specific distance that you originally set out to tackle. For me, dealing with injury and having to run on the dreadmill (ESPECIALLY THE ONE IN THE DUNGEON) are my two biggest barriers when it comes to having a run that I can be proud of. A run that I know I pushed myself to give 110%, even if that didn't include hitting a new PR.
This mornings run was no exception. Since getting back from spring break I have been Icing my left food/big toe twice a day and pushing the Tylenol. Taking a break from running, even a short one, has not even crossed my mind. So, I went into today's run with the goal of running 4 miles. No goal pace, no real plan. Just to start out at 6.2 mph and see how things went. I was tired. I had randomly decided to run in a tank top which I haven't done in what feels like forever, and of course I second guessed that wardrobe decision the minute I got down to the fitness center that must be filled with about a thousand mirrors.
Before I knew it, that first mile had whizzed by and I was feeling great. I decided to up the speed by .1 and keep focusing on running the miles I was in/actually using good form. If you've been reading this blog for any prolonged period of time, you know that aside from pacing myself during longer runs, using good form is by far one of my biggest struggles. Because, even after running for 6ish years now...I STILL FREAKING FORGET TO USE MY ARMS WHEN I RUN. And boy let me tell ya, using your arms makes this whole running thing much easier and more efficient.
At around the 1.5 mile mark, I found myself questioning whether I could really continue upping the speed every mile for the full 4 miles. However, I reminded myself that I was almost halfway done, and somehow that made continuing the process seem more doable. I also just kept telling myself with each mile and each increase in speed, "Running fast/hurting a lot for a little bit is so much better that running slow/hurting for a LONG time." In retrospect, that is what really got me through those moments when I wanted to quit, to slow down, and take things easy on myself.
At the 3 mile mark, as I again upped the speed and alternated between watching 'The Goldbergs' and checking the treadmill screen, I found myself wondering how I had already ran that far running at that pace and how in the world I was going to hold out for a whole 'nother mile. It seemed impossible. Scary. Kind of like literally every other thing in life that takes you outside of your comfort zone. But, with the help of some bad ass Demi Lovato music (specifically 'Sorry Not Sorry' and 'Waiting For Ya') I felt like I had the strength within me to push through the pain and self-doubt.
So, despite the barriers, the self-doubt, the not being able to run outside and see all the cute dogs...I ran my 4 miles this morning at an average pace of 9:23. That's the fastest treadmill run I have had in weeks! And then, as I sat down to watch a video for my positive psychology lecture entitled, "The 90:10 Rule" everything just clicked. The cliff notes version of this 11 minute YouTube video by this Dr. guy is that our success in life is determined as follows: 10% by what happens to us and 90% by how we react to it. He went on to explain that things a-z really don't stress us out themselves, but that our reaction/perception of them and their impact on us is what causes stress.
And all I could think upon finishing this video was how much I needed to hear this specific information at this juncture in my life and my training. Now that it's finally sunk in that this week is week one of half-marathon training, I can feel the stress/fear/anxiety starting to creep up. The feeling that every single run between now and September 2nd will make or break my first "big" race. That I need to show up, push myself, and be present 100% of the time.
My main takeaway from the 90:10 principle is this: you're going to fall/get knocked down a whole lot in life. Like on the daily at some points. That sucks. And any normal person would get stressed out by this, feel like what's the point of getting back up if you're just gonna be back on the ground again sooner rather than later. The reason I get back up, whether it be getting knocked down in the theoretical sense or literal one, is because every time I do, I'm proving to myself that a. I'm strong as Hell and b. things really aren't as bad as they seem.