Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Doubt

Classify this post under the category of "keeping it real".

The last couple of weeks I have been doubting myself. I have been questioning if I am as fast as I think I am or if I can be as fast as I want to be. I am not sure why. Self-doubt and insecurity are a big part of who I used to be, but not a big part of who I am now (most of the time) or more importantly, who I want to be. 

On my run today I did a lot of talking to myself (in my head). I reminded myself of how far I have come... that three years ago I was still over 200lbs and couldn't run a mile, and that one year ago I was gearing up for my first marathon. I thought  about recent races and the successes I have had. I told myself not to compare myself to other runners.  I reviewed training runs over the past few months that I nailed and which hint that faster race times are within my reach. Maybe most importantly, I reminded myself that I run because I love it. I run because it's fun. I run because I am strong and committed and determined. I run because it makes me feel amazingly good, physically and emotionally.

I thought about Bart Yasso telling me that I have a "runner's body" and look like I am "built to run fast".  (My favorite running compliment ever. If he says that to everyone, please don't tell me).

While I run because it is fun, I do also want to be competitive. I like racing and I enjoy pushing myself. I want to be fast and to get faster. I want to do well. I want to better my times. I would love some age group placings and wins. 

I need to remember - 

Patience. Trust in the training. Have faith in the process. Believe in myself. Don't be afraid of big goals. I am putting the work in, and I have to believe in myself.  I have to find satisfaction in achieving my best, whatever that is.

Courage, Faith, Strength.

I am on my own running journey. I don't know where it will take me, but I am going to enjoy the journey.

Do you ever get plagued by self doubt or insecurity?  How do you handle it?



18 comments:

Rene' said...

Erin.....You should have no doubt. You are truly amazing! I only wish that I could be as fast as you are. You are a Boston Qualifier.

With that said....I have been plagued by doubt recently. I am coming off of a poor showing in Chicago. (I got hurt and had to finish run/walking) I sat in my ART therapist's office crying because I was feeling like I wasn't a real runner? But a good friend finally slapped me (not really) and talked to me about how far I have come. Just keep that in mind. You have worked hard and are where you are because of all of that hard work.

Jen said...

This is such a timely post for me. It is also amazing how relative doubt can be. I'm really just at the start of my running journey but I do put in lots of time and it is frustrating when my friends who don't put in the time that I do end up doing better than I do. I know I shouldn't compare myself against them, but it's only natural. I suppose one of the things that has made you such a great runner is that you do push yourself and when you doubt yourself you push yourself harder. Be very assured, though, that you are a definite inspiration to all of us out here in blog world! Everything you set out to do you give 110%. It is true with your children and now with running - you don't do anything half-way! Thanks for sharing this today.

TMB @ RACING WITH BABES said...

I get plagued with doubt all the time. I just try my best to silence it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

You've come so far and I am constantly impressed by you. Don't doubt how much further you can go.

And just and FYI, Bart and I are tight. And he's never once told me that I have a runner's body or that I am built to run fast. That's all you.

Jessica (Pace of Me) said...

Oh my goodness, you are amazing Erin! Self-doubt is a part of it I think - I would be so surprised if we could find a runner that never has to work against feelings like that at one time or another.

I often experience these kinds of feelings during taper or when i am resting after a big race, between training cycles. I do what you did and I review all I have accomplished and remember how far I have come, how much I have overcome. That always helps me.

You are such a strong and inspiring woman! Your courage, strength, faith, determination and honesty are why I come here every day to read. Yes, your PRs are awesome but it is all these other things that make you YOU that have been the reason for the changes in your numbers - race times, training times, numbers on the scale. You are even stronger than you think!!

Katie said...

I am plagued with doubts all the time. I doubt if I am even meant to run! I, most of my neg. self talk tells me I will NEVER be fast. I know that is a lie.

You are amazing Erin! Thank you for sharing your doubts.

{lifeasa}RunningMom said...

Self doubt should be my middle name.

Thanks for the timely post. I was feeling really down and frustrated last night and was doubting my ability to get in the necessary training for my half in Feb and April and another marathon in Sept. Why worry about one month when I can worry about the whole year?

Hearing my toe wasn't healing as it should really crushed me....although it didn't surprise me since I have low calcium. Anyhow, thanks for the reminder to trust in my training, trust in myself, and to persevere. Last Christmas I was "knocked off my feet" with a muscle tear and I did the half in Feb and April. I need to trust myself....not doubt myself.

And you rock!

Katie @ Will Race for Carbs said...

It is good to know that even super speedy, kick butt ladies have doubt too. I think it is something we all struggle with from time to time (or all the time). I can't believe how far you've come in just a short amount of time. A true testament that hard work works. I can't wait to read about your AG placements because I am quite sure they will be happening! ;)

Jill said...

Sometimes I wonder if I should even bother trying to get faster because it seems like it will be such a small difference (and "fast" for me is so much slower than some other runners). And then once I do spend a year or so working hard and reaching some goals, something comes along (like pregnancy) which makes me start all over it seems. So why bother? Yes, I am plagued by these thoughts and doubts, but I am a lot like you and I not only run because I love it, but because I am a competitive person and I've enjoyed the progress I've made since starting to run. I just need to remember to be competitive with myself. But, since you and I run similar times (in the half and shorter distances since I've yet to have the desire to do a marathon) maybe we could compete sometime and then if you beat me, you could put your doubts to rest.

runningforthree said...

Yes! In fact just the other day I had a bad run day. I just couldn't get going. I felt like a snowball starting my tumble down the mountain. I wanted to connect this bad run with failure and every other "bad" thing in my life. Then I was like, STOP!! I'm allowed to have a bad day and that doesn't make me a failure. It just makes me human. I'm still struggling with doubt and insecurities but can feel myself getting stronger through this journey. Great post!

emlizalmo said...

Honestly, how do I handle self-doubt and discouragement? By coming here and reading your blog. If there is one running blogger I love more than anay other and relate to more than any other...it is you. When you share your struggles, it makes your successes seem even more amazing. When I read that you aren't ALWAYS confident, it somehow makes ME confident. You are amazing. You are fast and strong and amazing. I talk to my running partner about you daily. We talk about how smart you are when you train, how far you have come in such a short time. I really, really get a lot of strength from you. The sky is the limit in terms of your speed and racing. Read back over some of your race posts or awesome yasso repeat posts...you will quickly be reminded of your strength and determination. :) I adore you.

emlizalmo said...

Back again...sometimes when I doubt, I feel that rest is the answer, but it rarely helps. What does help is pushing through the discouragement. Man, have I had a few funks lately. Ones where I doubt myself as a runner. That then makes me doubt myself in all areas of my life. I hate it. I feel very defeated, Then one day, I have a great, strong run and I am once again on top of the world. I think part of getting through it is realizing your value in all the other areas of your life. You may have a crummy running day, but that has nothing to do with how you are as a mother, wife, friend. You are a daughter of God and that makes you amazing no matter what.

Caroline said...

You know I think it hits all of us..well most. In a way it is not good because it is negative but on the other hand it does force us to pause and think and realize all that we have done...just like you did..for me it comes after having a victory..like a PR...I get super happy and then I compare myself to people like you...not very fair to do that. I have to make myself look back and like you I see that gal who was over 200 lbs and could not run a mile and I can appreciate where I am at NOW. I think the doubts come to the ones who want to do better so in that regards it can be positive if you use it as motivation and not to put yourself down...I hope I am making sense, sometimes I translate from French and I dont make sense!!!

Jessica Washburn said...

Yes, definitely. I'll admit running has given me more confidence and I have struggled with self doubt and insecurities my whole life. Yesterday after my (kind of run), I was feeling pretty down because I was fatigued and unable to run the whole time like I normally do. I guess each day is a new day, some will have doubt and some will have setbacks but we just have to keep chugging along and moving forward. What other choice do we have than to sit on our couch and get fat? I would love it if you'd let me feature you on {Motivate Me Monday} I'm three weeks out or so, but if you're interested email me at runningtobeskinny@gmail.com Congrats on your weight loss/fitness journey...I'm so inspired by you. Jessica

runningtobeskinny.com

Christy @ My Dirt Road Anthem: A Runner's Blog said...

I love that Bart Yasso told you that! GO with it. Sometimes it is hard to believe in ourselves and trust in our abilities. I doubt myself all the time.

You have come so far and I know what you mean about wanting to be fast and place well in age groups. I feel like I place a lot of pressure on myself here too.

Corey said...

I was just posting about dealing with doubts too. This time last year when I was training I let some serious doubts in and it greatly affected my training and my ability meet my marathon goal (missed BQ by 6 minutes). This time as those thoughts creeped in I did the same thing you did and reminded myself of everything that counters those doubts. Keep thinking positive thoughts and telling your body and your head that you can do it!!! You want it bad and you WILL do it! You are FAST!!!

Laura said...

Great, honest post! I doubt myself at the start of every race! But I try to turn some of that into adrenaline for the run... I think you're right on when you said trust the training, and enjoy the journey.

Steph said...

Absolutely, as a new runner each time I have a bad run or I don't stretch a muscle appropriately doubt creeps in. I'm trying to focus on enjoying my good runs and keep working on those things that I think are causing bad runs. Keep going! You are such an encouragement to so many!

Meredith said...

I have to tell you that I read this the other day but am just now able to sit down and comment...

As I pushed through a hard run the other day, I thought of you. YOU inspired me as I ran. I wondered, "how would Erin run this??" When I try to figure out what pace I should run and when I should challenge myself, I imagine I'm sitting down with you and you're coaching me through. Again I think, "what would Erin tell me to do?" You are SUCH an inspiration! I haven't ready others' comments, but I'm willing to bet you've inspired them too. You are a blessing and a treasure. You are real and an amazing runner. I love watching your journey!