Focusing on the negative. (Expert level)

The first kilometer of the running route from my house starts on a very semi-steep uphill. Because of this, I usually use the first kilometer to ‘warm up’ and walk. But my running has been getting stronger and one afternoon, I found myself managing to run the entire kilometer without stopping. I was thrilled! When I reached the top at the swimming school, my heart felt like it would jump out of my chest, more from happiness than exertion. I could not stop smiling. My inner voice was saying, “Well done Bron!” Best . Feeling. Ever!

Two minutes later, another runner caught up to me and we started making conversation. We exchanged pleasant neighborhood chatter and discussed some of our road races. A few minutes had passed and I was enjoying running with her when out of the blue, she said, “Well, nice to have met you. Enjoy the rest of your run, I need to get going and run a little faster. I need to get home before the sun sets.” And off she ran…

That’s when all the negative thoughts flooded my head:

Before the sun sets? What the…? Yes, because I’m so slow, right? No one wants to run with you Bron. No one! You’re too slow!

When she was out of sight, I slowed down (even more) and was still grumbling to myself when I suddenly thought back to how my run had started. I had managed to run up to the swimming school without walking. That was a great moment and it was brilliant! So then how the hell did I manage to allow my run to dip into such a negative mood. Why did it become all about my speed? How did I go so quickly from celebrating reaching a goal to focus on one of my biggest running insecurities?

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Lesson learnt: It’s an area I need to work on. Breaking myself down happens so quickly and so easily. It’s destructive. I need to focus on my achievements and stop obsessing on the negative. I’m proud of myself. I ran the first kilometer from home all the way up the hill, to the swimming school, for the first time, without walking. Yeah! That’s what I want to take out of that run. Because that’s what counts!

(Image from Google)

Happy Valentine’s run to me!

5 years ago, I ran my very first 10km road race. It was the Randburg Valentine’s Night Race at Randburg Harriers. My time: 87 minutes.Valentines Day

Since that very first night in 2008, I’ve run over 17 half marathons, over twenty 10km races and numerous 5km ones. Last week I went back and ran the race that started it all…

Running through the dark streets, I was filled with emotion. I was over-whelmed at the fact that I had come so far. But a part of me was also angry because I realized that I have forgotten about the journey that I have taken to get where I am. From never having run before in my life to being able to manage running 21.1kms.

It dawned on me that I am so hard on myself and so unforgiving when I don’t make a cut-off time or run as fast as I’d like to. I have stopped giving myself any credit. I have stopped being proud of my accomplishments and I’ve only focused on the goals instead of the achievements.

Running the race again was much needed therapy because it reminded me that I am capable of doing this. Of running. I need to stop feeling sorry for myself and stop making excuses.

Yes, I run at 8 minutes/km. You damn right I do! And I can do that for 5km, 10km and even 21.1kms straight!