So today did not go as planned. It went better! That is probably not what you were expecting to hear. I ran a 25K trail race in Bank Head National Forest. This was my third year of running this race and I knew exactly what to expect. I have also ran this course a few times as training runs so I knew where the crazy hills were and where I would probably have to walk. I went into it expecting to do poorly. I did not feel well trained and I honestly was afraid I would struggle and have a hard time even finishing.
The first mile was terrible and I knew it would be. I mean it is basically uphill for about 2.3 miles until you get to the trails. That is never a great way to start a race…uphill and on a gravel road! My doubts were there and my voice in my head kept telling me, “You cannot do this.” I almost panicked. But instead I just kept pushing forward and knew it would get a little easier for a moment. To spare you every detail of the race I will give you the short version. It was hilly, it was muddy and it was definitely a challenge. I did not fall, I did have fun, and I did finish. And guess what?? I PR’d the course by 6 minutes and I placed! I received 2nd Place Masters Female. I chuckled a little and said I finally got the old fart’s award. Granted I am just 40, but I am now eligible to place in the Masters category. And this was one happy old fart! I had two other friends run the race and they placed as well! So yes today went much better than planned!
But on the way home I was talking to a friend that really brought something to my attention. She had wished me good luck and I was telling her how it went. And I said even then that I could not believe in a million years that I would do as good as I did today. Her response? “It proves what I know about you and that is you are stronger than you give yourself credit for!” She believed I could do what I did. She didn’t have a doubt. But I did. I was so happy throughout the whole race, even when I was really starting to struggle mentally and physically. I told myself that I was winging this race like I do a lot of my life. This race put a few things in perspective for me. And one of those things is that I have to work on believing in myself more. And I think that is something most of us could improve. We are our own worst enemies. We tell ourselves over and over that we just can’t do something and we start believing it. And sometimes that automatically sabotages us. But today I pushed and today I accomplished and today I was told I am strong. And that person does not realize how much I needed to hear that.
So believe in yourself. Do not spend so much time doubting your abilities, instead go out and show yourself that you are capable. Believe in yourself and go out and accomplish what you want in life. Stop unbelieving! And when your sweet friends tell you, Yes you can do great, and Yes you will do great, listen to them. They just may know something you don’t.