Learning positive self-talk

I am going to go ahead and apologize for any excessive griping or reveling in marathon taper that has and will occur on this blog in the remaining days before the Richmond Marathon. I am sure not everyone wants to read every thought in my brain going on during the taper. But I had to go ahead and indulge in this short post because I think this discussion is one every runner – and really every human being in general – can benefit from.

I had what was easily my most terrible run of training on Friday. I set out to do a simple 12 miles – a sweet, shorter long run. Instead I ended up with 12 miserable miles during which every little thing seemed to be going wrong. My legs felt like lead. My fuel belt was uncomfortable and it took all my self restraint not to take it off and chuck it in the woods. My iPod started glitching irreparably, which is just what every runner who listens to music while they run wants to happen two weeks out from a marathon.

I started to get frustrated with myself. But thankfully I had read this post written by Sarah just a few days earlier. In the post, Sarah linked to another post written by Tere Zacher entitled “Learning to be your own best friend.” It is about how to have a positive inner dialogue with yourself from a runner’s perspective and it is full of really wonderful advice.

Keeping this advice in mind really helped me to tone down my negative self-talk during my poor run. I was able to get past general, negative statements (like “I’m terrible at this” or “Obviously I’m not ready for Richmond”) and was able to look at the situation more realistically. I told myself that one run isn’t indicative of my fitness level. I reminded myself that many of the problems I was experiencing were out of my control like (a broken iPod), and the problems that were in my control could easily be remedied (my lead legs were a clear sign I hadn’t stretched and rolled enough last week).

Sure, I was still a little bummed that my run didn’t go according to plan. But Sarah And Tere’s points saved me from the extended freak out that was entirely possible from a mid-taper runner who suffers from a crappy training run.

I definitely encourage runners and non-runners alike to check out both of these ladies’ posts. A positive attitude makes all the difference in the world!

Have you dealt with a poor training run, or any other challenge, lately? How did you keep your thoughts positive?

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