I had a terrific week and a few days ago I wrote a lot about the confidence I had in running long distance training or race runs. As I ran my 6 mile run today I thought and thought and thought about this but I didn’t know I was until I finished. I said to myself mid-way that I should go for ten miles because I knew I could do it and it would increase my long run distance build-up faster. I held back though. I thought to myself that I am 100% sure that even right now I could push through and battle out a marathon finish. I mean heck, when there is so much on the line (a finishers shirt!!! 🙂 ) you always finish. I know I could. Would it be really fun? Would it be “relaxing” and benificial? Would it foster good thoughts or bad ones? Then it struck me about training for me personally. My body responds well to pretty much any kind of training I think. I recover well. I can go a long ass ways. But it REALLY struck my that a conservative build-up (like the one I did when I first started running) did more for creating an ATMOSPHERE OF CONFIDENCE within my own mind than it did for creating a super fit person. Of course the super fit goes along with the running but the multiple ultras and marathons, the way I explained to myself in my writing how I thought and felt going into a race, the sense of almost scoffing at a distance (with respect though) because I had done the work in the trenches far before hand. It struck me that the ATMOSPHERE OF CONFIDENCE in my own mind was what I need to foster more than anything. THAT is what creates IN ME the ability to stick with it, the ability to enjoy it, the ability to endure much longer distances. In other words, I held back. I cherished the “small” 6 mile victory. I saw in my minds eye the red line on my confidence meter bump up because I finished my 6 miles in complete comfort and with a sigh of satisfaction followed by a smile. There is plenty of time to build-up to 20, 30, 40 mile long runs. I was reminded of the times where I had a 30 mile long run and I felt this exact same way when I finished: in comfort and with a smile. Not sore for days, happy I did it, confident I could do it again.
It also then dawned on me that training (or even starting exercise for the non-exerciser) is a work of creating that atmosphere of confidence in the mind. Making sure to work it in a way to create small victories to maximize and ensure that the confidence builds. The body will make the changes it needs to, but the mind almost needs to be tricked into believe in itself if that makes sense. It may seem slow forcing delayed gratification but suddenly you end up doing 50 times more than you ever thought feeling like its easy just like that 6 mile run. I am committed to this. Developing that atmosphere of confidence, developing that consistency of victory. Maybe not moving on too fast but making sure I have lots of victories along the way. Building, building, building.
Hopefully that all made sense because I just rambled a lot. LOL.