I'm going to be honest - overall I consider myself to be relatively bad ass. Obviously I have the same types of insecurities as anyone else, but I like to push myself to the absolute max of whatever I think (or know) I'm capable. Running makes me feel invincible. I've blogged about this before, but when I'm running I feel like I'm the best version of myself. I feel normal.
Training for a marathon can bring out the best and worst in a person. Some weeks on a long run I feel like I can conquer the world, and some weeks I wonder why in the world I think I'm prepared to run another marathon. Running is a fickle mistress for sure. These days after a long run, there are definitely dents in my personal bad ass perception.
Running is indeed a temperamental activity. I've had days where the miles I've logged that day feel amazing. I can't imagine anything feeling better. I've had days where I've struggled running just a few miles, and I wonder how I'm going to get through the next race.
I think we all have that doubt in life. We're not smart enough; we're not attractive enough; if we're runners we're not fast enough; we're just not ENOUGH. Even in our best moments we may have doubt, but it's how we push through that doubt that makes us who we are. It's those moments of our biggest self doubt that can make or break us. We can either let doubt rule us or we can rule the doubt.
Last weekend I ran two eight mile loops during my 16 mile long run. It was a struggle, and I found myself wondering how I'd make it through the entire run. I stopped at home for water halfway through, and I wanted to stop. My body felt fantastic, but my mind just wasn't having it. I was really struggling to finish the run. My husband gave me a pep talk, and I pushed through the final eight miles. It was slow. It was sluggish, but it's another long run in the books.
When the normal doubt of life creeps in, I have to continually remind myself that I can do this. Not Crohn's or bronchitis or my own self doubt can keep me from pushing through another training schedule. In the late stages of training my IT band has held its own (knock on wood), and if my mind would just cooperate these could be an exciting last few weeks.
Thomas Carlyle said: "Doubt, of whatever kind, can be ended by action alone." On that note my doubts can shove it. I've got 18 miles to run this weekend, and that is totally bad ass.