I have a confession to make. I'm afraid of lots of things. I'm afraid of the dark. I'm afraid of something ever happening to one of my children. I'm afraid of never being good enough. I'm afraid of heights. I'm afraid of the ocean (even though I'm a good swimmer). I'm afraid of not finishing my Ironman. I'm afraid people will find out I'm not really an athlete at all. Sometimes when I teach I'm afraid people will realize I don't really know what I'm doing. Every single time I start working out, I'm afraid I won't be able to finish it. And I'm afraid that once this Ironman is over, I'll go right back to being lazy and fat.
It's this doubt that I HATE! I hate it, and yet I haven't been able to get rid of it. The thing is, I should be proud of myself for the things I've accomplished, but my brain always says: You can't really do that. You just got lucky. Other people are so much better than you. You can't really run a marathon. You can't really finish this workout. You should just quit now. You will NEVER be an Ironman.
AHHHHH! It makes me crazy! You know what, though? Every single time I start a workout, I want to quit. But I don't. I make myself finish it. My brain says: Just don't do the last 15 minutes. Just do most of the miles, but not the last one or two. Just forget the warm up or cool down of a swim. Just walk for a little bit. You know what I tell my brain? NO! NO! NO! I WILL finish this workout. I will do all the miles. I will bike the full 4 hours. I will do the warm up and cool down. I will run the full 10 miles. I WILL FINISH!
I'm always afraid at the beginning of a workout that I won't be able to finish. But I am always able to finish. So why am I still afraid? Why do I have to have that persistent doubt in myself? Last Thursday I had to do a 2:15 bike ride followed by an 8 mile run. The second I sat down on the bike I thought something was wrong with the seat. It felt like CEMENT! My butt hurt and I hadn't even begun! I literally got up to look at it to see if something had happened to the seat. Nope. Same seat. I set the level for 14, set the program to hills, and off I went. I watched about 50 people come and go while I continued to sit there biking my heart out. When I finished, I wanted nothing more than to just go home and go to bed. I didn't. I started the run. I wanted to quit and go home. I almost did. Instead I ramped up the speed and made myself go faster. Pretty soon I had finished 30 minutes and more than 3 miles, and I felt great! By my last 1.5 miles I was pretty exhausted. So I ramped up the speed again because I just wanted to be finished! I finished in 1:12. So I spent more than 3.5 hours at the gym...watched LOTS of people come and go. It was almost 11 pm. But I finished. TAKE THAT BRAIN!
I haven't been able to get a 100% training week yet. I keep trying, but it hasn't happened yet. But, I have ALWAYS given 100% in my training, and I have completed every workout I've set out to do. I'm at the gym or running/biking anywhere from 1 to 4 hours almost everyday. And yet...I'm still afraid. Is it enough? Will I be ready? Should I quit now because I just can't seem to get faster on the blasted hills?
I have improved my running time a lot. I used to run 10.30 - 11 minute miles. I'm down to 8 - 9 minute miles (with hills). My bike has definitely improved, but nowhere near where I need it to be. I have to try and get 1 - 2 miles per hour faster so that I won't have to be on the bike more than 7.5 hours. My swim is the only place I feel great. I have that in the bag! I swam 4000 m in 1:08, and that would be perfect for my Ironman. But the rest? I'm scared. I'm really really scared.
So this doubt that lives in my brain? I'm ready to be done with it! It sucks! I will keep pushing myself. I will keep trying. And I'm hoping that eventually I will believe I am capable of what others are believing in me. I believe in everyone else...why can't I believe in myself? Because doubt is the DEVIL within! :(
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