Nashville Changed My Mindset

by Mindy @ Just A One Girl Revolution on May 10, 2017

in Running and Training

Two years ago, I was crushing it as a runner. I worked really hard and it started to pay off, as I felt strong and fast. I almost added a fast (for me) disclaimer, but thought against it because I did feel fast. There is no sense in the comparison trap. I felt fast, end of story.

But, things started to fall apart. My hip bothered me, a nagging injury I just couldn’t shake for the summer of 2015, and by the time I DNFed at the New York City Marathon that fall, I waved the white flag. As much as I loved running, I just needed some time away. I did log some miles, but they were sporadic at best. Eventually, the itch returned and I longed to lace up my running shoes again. I missed how consistent miles made me feel – sure, the physical benefits were amazing, but it went deeper than that. Running isn’t therapy, but it certainly is therapeutic.

Although I ran, I struggled to get back into the sport. The miles were harder than I remembered. I felt like I needed to walk a lot, my pace lagged, and it was just really hard.

Fast forward to the days leading up to the Nashville Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon. My anxiety about the race was sky-high because I felt so unprepared. Had it been a local race, I don’t know that I would have even crossed the start line. Easier to just admit defeat than accept another DNF. But, it wasn’t a local race and it wasn’t just me running, as I roped a friend into it with me. It was hundreds of miles away and accommodations were already paid for. I had to try, at the very least.

And, that’s exactly what I did. While that half marathon was a far cry from my best showing, crossing that finish line held immense power. It truly changed my mindset, and reminded me that running is just as mental as it is physical. Maybe more. I realized, with this race, that I wasn’t running well because I thought I couldn’t run well anymore. I told myself the story that I couldn’t run without needing to walk and that I would never get my speed back again so many times that I believed it all, whether I realized it or not.

Since that race, I’ve run five times. Nothing significantly long, mostly 2-3 miles,¬†although there was a 5.5 mile run on Saturday. I’ve logged about 15 miles total, which isn’t much in the grand scheme of things, but what feels huge is that I have not walked a single step of those miles. My run on Saturday was an hour and I didn’t walk any of it. I truly couldn’t tell you the last time I ran that long or that far without walking. But, not once since Nashville have I had the mental battles of the last 18 months. It hasn’t been the “I can’t do this” mantra, but instead knowing that I can. There is unbelievable power in that mindset.

In Nashville, I was reminded that I can do it. I can complete the miles. I can do hard things.¬†Nashville was an incredibly challenging race, but it changed things. I feel a confidence that hasn’t been there for a long time. I’m starting to feel strong again, both mentally and physically. I’ve got a 25k on deck for Saturday and while I know it won’t be easy, I don’t have nearly as much anxiety as I did a couple weeks ago. Because I was reminded that I can do it, that somewhere in there is the runner I know I was and can be again.

Henry Ford quote

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