Mental Constipation. Its time to clear out the crap.

21 Jul

I am a not a runner.
I can’t/could never do that.
I only run if I am being chased.
I don’t have time.
I haven’t run since high school. I could never do that now.
I am too old for that.

These are just a few of the phrases/excuses I hear from people when they find out that I like to run. When I hear them, I get frustrated because, to me, these words represent nothing more than mental blockage. Friends, today is the day to start clearing out the crap and changing your attitude.

You are the only person that says what you can and can not do. The longer you sit there and tell yourself you cannot do something, the closer you are to fulfilling that destiny. Who wants to be a person that can’t do something? Not me! If nothing else, I want to know that I at least tried with 100% solid effort everything that I have ever wanted to do. So what if I fail? Hey, at least I was not the one sitting on the sidelines.

Part of what drives me to keep running and training is all people who say, “I could never do that.” I am not a natural athlete, and if I can do it, they can to. Anyone can…even you. The difference is, I never told myself that I couldn’t.

Running is a mental game every bit as much as it is a physical one. If you are a couch potato, just making the decision to buy running shoes and give it a try is a huge mental hurdle. If you are a 5k/10k runner, taking that leap to the half marathon distance requires courage and faith in your body. And anyone who has ever run a marathon (or longer) will tell you that overcoming “the wall” takes mental persistence and determination like no other. No matter what your goal is, you still have to be decisive, make a plan, and figure out what works for you to get your body to the finish line.
Mental Toughness
Have a strong will, develop a mantra, and surround yourself with others that support your goal (for days when you need an extra push.) Keep the Debbie Downers away as much as possible. Never stop telling yourself that you can do it. Trust me, your mental stamina will fail you long before your body will.

Quite frankly, this sprint triathlon that I have coming up in 9 days scares me to death. Have I mentioned that this will be my first “official” triathlon? And that I will be exactly 26 weeks pregnant on that day? Have I mentioned how many people have told me I am absolutely insane for attempting such a thing…in the summer…in Louisiana? Or that I haven’t been able to get in any regular swim practice in the last 3 weeks (but am starting back today)? Sounds like the odds are stacked against me, yes?

And they are. However, I refuse to let self-doubt infect my thoughts. I am more aware of what my body can and can not handle than anyone else, and I know that I CAN do this. And when I finish, however long that takes, I will officially be a triathlete. For all those people that have something negative or snarky to say about my baby bump in my tri kit, keep it coming…you are just adding fuel to my fire. 🙂

What mental hurdles are you struggling with today? What are you doing to help you clear out the crap? What decisions are you making TODAY to get you closer to your goals?

11 Responses to “Mental Constipation. Its time to clear out the crap.”

  1. Jeff Soileau at 8:56 AM #

    “Believe that you can run farther or faster. Believe that you’re young enough, old enough, strong enough, and so on to accomplish everything you want to do. Don’t let worn-out beliefs stop you from moving beyond yourself.” -John Bingham

    • katieRUNSthis at 8:59 AM #

      PERFECT. This will definitely be added to my “Running Quotes” page. Thanks, Jeff!

  2. Jess @JessCantCook at 9:04 AM #

    Great post! I struggle with this not only with running, but just working out and eating healthy in general. I have to remind myself that just because I had fries at lunch (ahem, like yesterday…they were awesome) doesn’t mean I’ve screwed my whole day. Or just because I didn’t get out of bed and run this morning doesn’t mean I failed and should give up being a runner. I don’t really have a mantra, sometimes I just have to tell myself to shut up and do it 🙂

  3. Katherine at 9:04 AM #

    This is a great post. Just yesterday someone directed some negative energy about running towards me, saying that it’s bad for your knees. You know what was actually much worse for my knees? Swimming. And running hasn’t messed with my knees at all.

    I think a lot of the negatives that athletes hear from other people (and yes, you’re right, we can ALL be runners and athletes!) are coming from a place of jealousy. If only they knew how good it feels to take care of yourself and accomplish goals!

  4. Jordan Trump at 9:22 AM #

    Great post, Katie! I agree, running is totally a MENTAL thing! It’s all about trying, giving your BEST, and just pushing as hard as you can! It’s crazy, but since making the commitment to run EVERY day, I don’t find myself coming up with excuses anymore. It’s like they’ve just completely disappeared from my thought process. Granted, I’m not training for anything, but my mileage has been great.

    Really though, I just wanted to comment and say you are AWESOME for doing a triathlon, especially your first, while pregnant! I’ve never done one, but when I do, I’m definitely not going to be pregnant (well, obviously)

  5. This is a great post – I couldn’t agree more about how mental running is! I’ve been having my doubts lately about my upcoming half marathon but this post has been a great reminder to shake off the negativity.

    By the way, the fact that you are taking on a triathlon @ 26 wks is amazing in my book! Good luck – hope you rock it!

  6. Katie A. at 12:06 PM #

    This post is SO true! Running is so much more mental than anything. On the days that I let myself think I just can’t go any further, I end up stopping and generally it’s long before I really HAD to and way before the furthest distance I’ve run. I realized at my race this past weekend that my mantra is the verse “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Phil. 4:13 The course was extremely hilly and it was hot and humid and there were so many times I wanted to stop and walk, but I just kept repeating this verse over and over to myself and I was able to finish the race without having walked any and in a great time for me!

  7. DubyaWife at 12:33 PM #

    I was telling @K_Dufau on Tuesday that “it doesn’t matter how fast you run, you’re still faster than everyone lying on the couch right now.”

    I used to have those excuses, and then when I started running I realized my potential. Great post, Katie.

  8. Michelle at 4:08 PM #

    I think you are absolutely awesome for conquering this triathlon (and for a whole list of other reasons).

    Many of my friends have given me guff about my workout habits. I decided a long time ago not to take it. You don’t want to workout? Fine with me, just don’t talk negatively about my passions. And on that note, time to get off my camping chair (the only seat I have in my apartment right now) and workout. Thanks for always being an inspiration!

    • katieRUNSthis at 11:29 AM #

      Thank you, lady! I really appreciate that!

      I agree with you 100%! If people can’t get on board with the Fitness Train then they need to just get out of the way. If they don’t want to join you, that’s fine (each to his own), but it would be wrong for them to discourage you in any way. You are just trying to take care of YOU…for the long haul! Keep up the great work!

  9. jeanniegilbert at 11:13 AM #

    Love this post! And kudos for not taking the flack about racing while preggo. We truly are in tune with our own body. I ran and did a couple races thru my last two pregnancies. Exercised through all 4 of them. I knew what I could handle and when to back off. I needed to continue exercising for my own sanity. And yes, non-runners or exercise enthusiasts do not get it.

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