It’s been a little over two weeks since I last wrote and I’m not afraid to admit that there’s been a lot of chatter going on this head of mine. On May 11th, I ran the Sporting Life 10k, which was my second race at this distance. It was also my first race alone since October. To say I wasn’t nervous is a lie because I was, but not as much as I expected. That being said, the bigger issue was trying not to put a lot of pressure on myself to beat my previous 10k time.
I read a few articles beforehand on how athletes that work towards a physical goal versus a mental goal are a lot less likely to succeed, whereas those who set a mental goal like finishing a race upright and smiling are more likely to meet their goals or surpass them. Don’t get me wrong, the competitor in me wanted to desperately beat my old time, but I didn’t want to overwhelm myself with that pressure. I needed to remind myself of why I began running in the first place. With that being said, I decided my goal would be to finish the race with a smile on my face and to remember that 5k was an unimaginable feat a little over year ago, let alone 10k.
I’m happy to say that the authors of those articles were right. As I crossed the finish, I achieved a personal best, but why have I been feeling so miserable ever since? Ever since running this race, I have been living with this inner turmoil and temptation to quit. Everything seems painstakingly hard, everything seems like a chore, and everything feels like I’m going to fail. I don’t know where it’s come from and I don’t know how to fix it.
With a little over 3 months until my half marathon, I thought I’d be excited when I received my race swag in the mail. I thought it would give me more focus, but as you probably guessed, it hasn’t. It’s just made me feel like I am paddling upstream to a goal I will never reach. I keep telling myself the things I think I should say, like, “Don’t worry, you’ll be ready in 3 months time”, but what if I’m not? If I remain in this terrible head space for too long, I am going to end up traveling down an even more unpleasant road. I don’t dare type the word, but it starts with a Q.
Whenever I am like this, I try to talk it out, and I try to seek out ways to reinvigorate my passion. Motivational quotes are pretty successful in that regard, so when I found this one, it stuck to me like glue. I just hope the words hold true.