I started running almost exactly a year ago. At that point I was strictly a treadmill runner, so I never had the pleasure of experiencing an outdoor winter run. As winter approached (ok technically it’s still fall but when the ground is covered in snow and it’s -20C…it’s winter). As I was saying, as winter approached, I started dreading the outdoor runs and dreading even more the thought of doing my half marathon training on the treadmill. The thought of navigating through the snow, ice, and shockingly cold wind made me freeze my running plans for a bit.
We finally had a bit of a break in the cold last week so I decided that I would venture out in the snow. I chose to go down by the river as I was told the paths there were kept clear and I’d be able to do less skating and more running. 😛 Well I got down to the path and unfortunately the majority of the path was icy. I had that inner battle where I just wanted to turn around and go home but I thought, “No, I’m here, I’m doing this, I’ll just take it slow.”
So that’s just what I did. I ran at a nice and slow pace and navigated around the icy patches. I was doing pretty good. I got to the point where I crossed the river and the path was completely clear. I had high hopes, I picked up my pace a little and then…bam..completely uncleared path. The rest of the way was going to be hard-packed, uneven snow. No pavement to be seen. Once again I contemplated turning around. Which would have been fine I guess, it was almost the half way point after all, but I decided I’d give the snow run a bit of a chance.
So on I went! It was very slow going. I’m not a fast runner anyway so when I say slow I mean slow. I got to about the 5k mark and once again thought “What the heck am I doing? I’m dying out here. And I’m supposed to be training for a half marathon soon!! How am I ever going to make a half marathon when an 8k loop at a crawling pace almost does me in? And I have to do this all through the winter!” I was getting a bit frustrated to say the least. I was really questioning my ability to complete all the goals that I have for myself.
But I do this to myself often. I always question by ability to complete a run, a race, a goal. It’s hard, why bother? If I’m having trouble now how will I ever make it to the next goal? But then I think back. I remember where I started. It’s SO important to remember where you started. I remember running for my first 3 minute interval thinking that there is no way I will EVER learn to run for 20 minutes straight. It’s not possible. It was too hard, why bother? But I did. I remember thinking I would never be able to run 5k. It was way too far. I was hurting at 3k. I’d better stop. Why bother? But I did. I remember after finishing my first 5k I thought I would go for 10k. But I went for a 5.5k run and wanted to quit my training right there. I’d never make it. I CAN’T do it!! My body isn’t capable. But then I remembered where I started. I pushed on. And I did it. So now I find myself here. About to begin my half marathon training. With doubts in my head. Not sure if I can handle the training. Not sure if I can push myself far enough. But when I look back at where I started then I realize how far I’ve really come. I KNOW that it’s possible. Anything is possible. Is it going to be hard? Absolutely. Am I going to doubt myself again? I’m sure I will. Am I going to want to quit? Probably a few times. But is it going to be worth it? You’d better believe it.
It’s so important to replace that negative talk we like to feed ourselves. We are capable of so much more than we’d ever think. But if we let the self doubt take over we will never realize our full potential. If we give in to those nagging thoughts telling us it’s so much easier to quit, we will. And then we’ll just be full of regrets. So I’m not quitting. I’m going to keep moving forward. It won’t be easy, but it will definitely be worth it! And HOW am I going to do it? One step at a time.
Do you have a phrase, song, mantra that you think of when you just want to quit? What helps you to keep going when your head wants to give out?