“But I’m not a fast runner…”

“But I’m not a fast runner…”

Those were the words I blurted out to Scott on our run yesterday when he kept pushing me to run faster for the last mile of our run. We actually ended up in a heated debate about the topic right after we finished.

I was frustrated because I felt like he was pushing me too hard, that he wasn’t taking my abilities into consideration. Or that he wasn’t seeing how hard I was trying to run faster – even if I didn’t look like I was running faster.

His retort? You are a runner, you CAN run faster. You are holding back to much, saving too much for that last mile. Stop doubting. Just run.

And you know what? He’s right. By me saying “I’m not a fast runner” – it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If I think I can’t do something, or that I’m not cut out for something, then my mind and body are going to follow suit. But, if I harness the confidence I’ve been building and the mental endurance I’ve been so focused on during this round of half marathon training, then who am I to say “I can’t” or “I’m not…?”

This is something that I was thinking about all day yesterday and it struck me that my blog friend over at Sunshine on my Shoulder wrote something similar on her blog. About “believing the lies” – those half-truths or “lies” about ourselves that we choose to believe.  She’s right – it’s a choice to believe those things. Just like it’s a choice to remain positive in the face of adversity, it’s a choice to believe you can and you will.

It made me think – why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we put ourselves in a box like that? We can do anything we put our minds to, yet so often – our minds try to tell us otherwise.

So today? I focused on the mind-body connection during our run. We were supposed to run 5 miles and instead ended up running 7 miles (7 of the 10 mile route we’re aiming for on Friday, actually). You’d think that sudden change in distance would cause me to start letting those doubts creep in. But guess what? I pushed them down. Even though my legs were tired from the previous two days of running (and barre n9ne class). Even though I was sleepy when we got started.

I pushed and I pushed.

And as we rounded the corner near our house – that last half mile staring me down. This is where I’m usually prone to slowing down vs speeding up.  Instead of pulling out all the stops, pushing hard, envisioning that finish line coming up on August 14.

So that’s what I did today.

I pushed it.
I ran fast.
Yes, me.

No idea what the speed was but it was definitely an uncomfortable pace. I was breathless at the end but quick to high-five Scott who was beaming with pride that I did exactly what he’d wanted me to do yesterday but had fought him on.

I ran fast.

Because guess what? I can do anything I put my mind to. Including running. And running fast


21 thoughts on ““But I’m not a fast runner…”

    • Thank you my dear! He is seriously the best running coach ever – even though I legit was mad at him yesterday. He was right. And I’m admitting it to the world here (I hope he’s reading this!!). hehe

    • Exactly – I DO need to get out of that comfort zone/comfort pace thing I have going on. Today was the first time I allowed myself to stay uncomfortable in that last mile and wasn’t freaked out by it. Progress??

  1. Pingback: “But I’m not a fast runner…” (via EatDrinkBreatheSweat) « Halfpass: A Dressage Rider's Fitness Journey

    • I’m not sure what the magic ingredient is for getting past that mental block – it’s almost like you have to go through that rut of “bad runs” and then one day you find a way to push past it and experience a “good run” and suddenly things feel easier from there. So I guess maybe it is a bit of magic??? Good luck!!

  2. Good for you JEss! This is an swesome post about believing in yourself! I would LOVE for you to write a self-confidence post for me (either about not using the scale, about a healthy balance WITH the scale, OR a NEED to still have the scale…in an unhealthy way). What do you say? Email me! thehealthyapron@gmail.com

  3. Awesome sis! I actually find when I push it at the end that while it is SO HARD somehow, the running itself feels easier than my slow and steady pace. Is that weird? I want to increase my speed not for any time goals or anything, and think that I am since M is faster than me anyway, but when I realized that running faster is actually in a sense, easier, it makes me think.

    • Funny you mention it. Justin swears that running slower is HARDER than faster – harder on the body, etc. I was like pssshaw what are you talking about?? But now that you mention it too, you might have a point – expending too much energy going slowly versus moving forward at a faster clip might be an issue worth resolving?? Hmmmm.

  4. It’s so good to push outside of our comfort zone sometimes. Well done! It’s great that you have such a running buddy in Scott. He believes in you and knows your strength. You’re going to rock that half!

    • I know – I need to do more of that pushing outside of comfort zones thing. I love my 9.5-10 min mile pace LOL. Scott always teases me for it, but truly is an amazing running buddy, he makes me a better runner for it!

  5. Way to go!!! It’s so true- we always save it for the end but it doesn’t mean we can’t do it during the run. I ran faster than I thought possible on my last half marathon. Sure… I hit the wall at 17km, but I felt amazing before that 🙂
    Good for you for sticking it out!! You did it!

    • That is exactly what I’m hoping – to surprise myself with this half and to feel GOOD throughout the race. I want to run a race I’m proud of – not for time, but how I feel before/during/after the race. THAT is a dream goal for me.

  6. yay! love this. thanks for taking us through your thought process. I definitely agree that we can be our our own worst enemies when it comes to what we’re capable of achieving. good for you for running FASTER!

  7. i had a similar experience on tuesday when i had to do speedwork. i doubted my ability to pull off the paces that had been set for me. it was very uncomfortable but then i got mad and used that energy to pull it off and felt soooo good afterwards. thank you for putting this in perspective for me! i have another challenging one tomorrow and will be thinking of this post as i’m wondering – why am i doing this?! 🙂

  8. I LOVE when the adrenaline kicks in & your mind can just take you through the end of a good workout. I love finishing my runs strong. Makes you feel pretty darn powerful, huh?

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