It’s Saturday, so it’s ParkRun day 👏 ... except first thing this morning I wasn’t sure I wanted to go... 😔 then I read a post on the C25k forum from someone who was going through the same familiar feeling I had gone through with swimming and that had started to creep into my head today: talking myself out of it - or not able to talk myself INTO it.
I commented on C25k about forgetting stats and just finding the privilege and happiness of being alive an able to run - and I realised I was talking to myself too. It was fear of failure, and I know the trigger.
Because I had found a faster gear the other day during an interval run, and found I could keep jogging after that faster pace too, I’d decided to try a slightly faster start pace this morning and trust my legs more. But that scared me. It risked running out of energy and walking. This was the feeling that was blocking me - running faster and making a mistake.
So the conscious brain needed to intervene and explain to my sub-conscious that I am learning with every run. And learning may mean doing the wrong thing at the wrong time, but that’s ok because otherwise we never know. I preach all the time to riders about not punishing ‘mistakes’ a horse might make, and I needed to give myself that permission too.
So I started quicker, not ‘tempo’ but faster than my usual shuffle. I trusted my legs. It felt harder than usual. I told myself that was totally expected 🙄 but even though it was harder, it was still ok. I had to slow down for the 4th km which was an uphill gradient. It would have been OK to walk, I had no problem with that, but I kept going at my old shuffle pace, recovered my breathing, and then the last km matched the first one.
I finished the last half km at a fast pace (for me), with ridiculously comfortable breathing, loving the warmth of the sun, the feeling of the breeze, the fresh air under the trees, the encouragement of the other runners and Marshalls, the wonderful feeling of appreciating what my body CAN do - rather than hating it for what it can’t do - and no pain anywhere 😲 I was more pleased with how well I felt at then end than my time...
... but I smashed my PB anyway! 👍