You all know how much I love my running. I love the challenges, the feeling of achieving what I set out do, the runs where incredible, unplanned things happen and everything else associated with running. But I appear to have lost my confidence.
I ran on Tuesday and hurt my leg. I decided that I needed to rest (apart from Pilates) and do no running until at least Friday. I went out for a run on Friday after school with my friend and found it really tough. much tougher than normal. I was having a total mental battle trying to push to the end of the mile and not stop. I didn’t want to give up (and somehow I didn’t) but my mind was screaming at me that I couldn’t do it. That I needed to give up. That I was a failure. I was having a huge mental battle with myself and just about won, but my confidence in my running wasn’t good.
Sunday morning came, and I was hoping it would bring with it the motivation to run. But sadly it my motivation was at an all time low (something I haven’t experienced before) and running was the last thing I wanted to do – especially when my friend R text me to say she wasn’t coming running with me. I had the perfect get-out. As the day went on I kept thinking I should go for a run, but I wasn’t itching to get out there like normal. It was going to be a mission to drag myself out there, if I got out there at all.
I have to say that without the tweets and messages from @Andyjread and @runmaniauk, along with many others I wouldn’t have gone out for a run. They both said that they believed in me, they had confidence in me, they supported me. They also said that getting out there is the hard part – I can definitely say that this was true for me. It was suggested that I go out and just run. Leave my watch at home, not worry about distance, time, pace. Just run and enjoy it with none of the added pressures. So that is exactly what I did…
Ok, so I didn’t leave my watch at home. I cannot bear to be parted from it. I still haven’t worked out an exact route that is a mile and I like to know how far I have run. I did, however, make a deal with myself. I was only allowed to look at my watch when it beeped with my mile split. I wasn’t allowed to look at my pace, how far I had gone, or how long I had been running. I turned off the virtual pacer too. It was actually really freeing. I didn’t feel like I was in a battle to try and go faster than before or further than before or having to stay at a certain pace or battle to get to that pace. I could just run and enjoy the feeling of running.
The first mile felt tough, but I fought through it (with the help of my fab running playlist) and decided that I was going to tackle the hill. I was going to give it my best shot and try to run all the way to the top. I had never managed it before. I had run about two thirds of the way up before but could never get to the top. I’m pretty sure it was a combination of sheer determination, shouting at myself “come the **** on” and hearing the words of my friend Andy in my head telling me that I could do it, that I was strong, that he believed in me, that powered me to the top of the hill. I will admit that I almost had a moment when I got to the top, there were almost tears of joy, but instead I just kept running. And then I ran some more. I tackled the hill again and got three quarters of the way up and then had to walk to rest, then I ran some more and just kept going. It felt incredible. It has never felt so good. I tackled the hill one more time and got three quarters of the way up again. I walked the rest of the way to the top ran some more and then turned to head home (still running). I had a sneaky check of my watch (I know – I couldn’t resist), knowing that I had already gone past my previous distance PB and was amazed to see that I was at 4.7 miles and still feeling strong. I decided that I was going to get to 5 miles of I could. And that is exactly what I did. 5 miles in 1 hour 10 minutes.
Where that came from I will never know. I had no idea that i could run that far. That my legs would go that far. That my mind would be so free of doubts and lack of belief that i could get that far. That I didn’t give up. And my mile times were pretty consistent – that shocked me too! It felt incredible to run without the pressures I normally put on myself. I’m hoping that this breakthrough helps with my confidence.
I AM A RUNNER!
The message and support on Twitter when I posted my distance and time was incredible and totally overwhelming. If any of you lovely people and followers from Twitter also read my blog, I just want to say once again how truly grateful and thankful I am for the amazing messages you send me and the support you give me. Little me doesn’t deserve all of the lovely things that get said. I’m just a girl (woman) who fell in love with running, constantly battles with confidence and self-belief and sometimes finds things hard. I’m not special, I don’t feel inspiring, I’m just me.
A special mention goes to my friend Andy. He won’t take any credit, but I am pretty sure that I wouldn’t have made as much progress as I have with my running without him. He believes in me and has confidence in me, he is always there encouraging me, supporting me, celebrating my successes (no matter how small) and has even agreed to run a 10k with me in November! I will never forget the most lovely thing of tweeting about me hoping to do a distance PB and asking for people to support me and retweet etc. I was at the Airport in Paris, logged onto twitter and saw all of these amazing messages (and felt incredibly emotional). I cannot wait to run the 10k with him so I can totally smash it as my way of saying thank you.
I am truly thankful that I have such amazing friends and family who support me and encourage me (even if they think i’m bonkers for running!)
If you have read this far – you have done well (I’m pretty sure this is a mammoth post!)
This is my second time of writing it as my previous version got lost in the internet somewhere (cries!) so I hope it is ok!
Thank you for reading and commenting.
I’m raising money for The Matt Hampson Foundation by taking part in 2016 Adidas Silverstone Half Marathon. If you would like to sponsor me visit http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/KimberleyMiles
To find out more about the Matt Hampson Foundation please visit: http://matthampsonfoundation.org/