Tag Archives: motivation

Embrace the Uncomfortable

In my last post I talked about how I had lost and found motivation. Following from it I wanted to write a bit about positive self-talk and how to actually motivate yourself to stick through a tough workout or any other thing in your life. (side note; my surgery got postponed, hence I have been able to run). πŸ™‚

I’m definitely not an expert and actually, quite surprisingly to myself,Β  found that I really struggled with this whole self-talk thing. Whenever I’ve been training for a marathon I have read about other peoples blogs, instagram stories etc where they always talk about how mindset is everything. I mean I studied psychology and then sport psychology so I should really know this better than many people. In reality, I often fail to do this successfully myself. The positive impact of self-talk is well researched and proven to work in many instances (one studyΒ here,). Even when I grew up my mum always used to talk about the importance of self-talk and how it has to be positively worded. Basically, if you are stressed then you tell yourself “I’m relaxed” as opposed to “I’m not stressed” because “not stressed” has a negative word in it.

When it comes to running I’ve tried all sorts of mantras to keep myself going; “I feel strong, my legs feel light, I can do hard things” etc.. I have copied these from wherever I’ve read them but I’ve never really found them particularly useful. I tried them in Estonian as well (my native language) to see if that would make a difference but more often than not I felt like they weren’t working. I remember reading from Hungryrunnergirl’s blog (here) that when she was training for Boston marathon she kept repeating “Boston” during her tough intervals. I tried that when I was training for Paris and repeated “Paris, Paris Paris” like a maniac but I think it worked for one rep and then the effects soon disappeared.

As mentioned in my last post, I have become really good at skipping my tempo runs and during all the faster runs that have felt hard I’ve just kind of let myself slow down. I didn’t really know how to get out of this mindset and work hard again.. but I think I have found something that actually has worked. At least so far. Now I bet you all think this is something groundbreaking but it’s actually quite simple. I have decided to embrace the uncomfortable and become comfortable with it. I recently saw few different insta posts by people who have had recent success in a marathon and they had this in common; they used the phrase: “you have to learn to be comfortable with the uncomfortable”. It sounds so simple but it’s so true. I know for a fact that I can run a certain pace for a certain time but some days as soon as it gets a bit tough I give up. On my last three fast runs (tempo, hill training and interval), as soon as I felt uncomfortable I literally just repeated to myself “get used to this and become comfortable with the feeling of being uncomfortable” πŸ˜€ And it worked. I mean maybe this is just beginners luck and the effects will soon fade but for me I think this phrase is more than just a positive mantra. I genuinely believe in it and understand why it’s so important to go through these uncomfortable patches in training as on race day (especially in a marathon) there will be multiple uncomfortable times where it’s so much easier to just give up but if you’ve taught your body to embrace it and be comfortable then you’ll nail it. I mean a comfort zone is a beautiful place but nothing ever grows there right πŸ˜‰

Would love to hear your thoughts on this?

Have a great rest of the week and embrace the uncomfortable!

Motivation Lost and Found and a Bump in the road

Hey all!

Firstly, I need to apologise for my lack of writing recently. I actually forgot I had a blog until I saw the email come through for yet another renewal of the platform. I paid without even thinking and then thought “hang on, why am I paying for this if I’m not even blogging?”.

So anyway, here I am and I’ve now promised myself I will keep this blog a bit more active. I won’t promise you but I will promise myself which should be strong enough reason to keep it, ha.

I want to give you a brief update on my running life this year (since I have not written one single post about running this year). In terms of races I did two 5km races, two 10kms, 4 half marathons, and a marathon.

Unfortunately, I only PBd in one of the 10km races. My new PB is 42:50. The biggest reason for my poor racing form was lack of motivation. Especially lack of motivation for hard workouts.

I still ran and sort of trained but I always gave up on my hard runs, especially tempo runs. I would go for a run and within one km I would come up with an excuse of why I didn’t have to complete the whole distance or why I didn’t have to keep that pace. These negative thoughts just spiralled into never hitting my paces on my training runs anymore. I still went to a lot of my races with overly optimistic attitude thinking I’m still gonna be fit and PB even though I haven’t trained but obviously the reality was I didn’t. Each race this year was worse than the other. In my last half marathon in Cardiff in October I stopped for about 4 times as I thought I was going to die, faint or puke, and I wasn’t even going fast. I think my time was around 1:45 in the end (PB is 1:34).

There is no one else to blame other than myself, after 6 years of running I know that you have to train hard in order to see results. It’s actually funny that for years I struggled to run slow because I wanted every run to be fast and I worried about how slow my pace is on long runs whereas this year I really nailed the running slow bit, I was slower than ever on my easy runs but I just got so comfortable that I never wanted to run fast again. Haha.

Having studied sport psychology I should know better than the mindset is everything. If I dreaded my hard workouts the night before and woke up knowing it was going to be tough it was always going to be hard. As soon as I started running I would just kind of spiral into this negative circle of “well I didn’t do my 6km tempo last week either so no point doing my 8km tempo now”. Also in races “well I’m not going to get a PB so I may as well walk for a bit”. How stupid is that? Very stupid :). Then there would be the days of “I’m tired, I’m hungover, I haven’t eaten properly, I’m stressed.. ” and the list goes on. Motivation is a strange thing. I watched other people train and I follow so many people on Instagram and I just couldn’t understand how they had the energy to train the way they did. Normally these posts would motivate me but this summer/autumn I just had no energy whatsoever.

I even ran a race in Finland this year!

 

So what did I do? After the terrible Cardiff half marathon I took couple of weeks off running because I wanted a mental break from it. And funnily enough, my motivation creeped back and wanted me to start training properly again. In the few weeks I had off and then the first few weeks back I wasn’t doing much, about 3 runs a week but all those PBs started flashing in my eyes and I was ready to go again with a fresh mind and actually start nailing the hard workouts. I was so excited and motivated for about 2 weeks but then life happened. As it always does.

I’ve been on a waiting list for a surgery for months (to remove a hernia so nothing too serious) but I didn’t think I was ever going to get an appointment (thanks to my not so great experiences with the NHS in the UK). However, two weeks ago I had a letter saying I would have my operation at the end of this month. When I called to ask about recovery times they said it’s about a month, sometimes longer. So here we are now, I’m obviously glad it’s getting sorted after 11 months on the waiting list but it’s made my motivation go out the window. I mean, what’s the point in working hard and getting fit only to then have to take a month off and start all over again? I guess you could do that but that’s not how my motivation works. As soon as that letter came in, out went my motivation.

Oh well. Life is what happens when you’re too busy making other plans. Or whatever the saying is.

I will update you on my post-op recovery and hopefully, (fingers crossed) I can start running again in January and my motivation will join me on those training runs πŸ™‚

Have a lovely rest of your Sunday! xx