negative self talk

17 Oct

I am a negative self-talker.

I read a quote one time about how you should never say anything about yourself that you wouldn’t say about another person (to their face).  It hit home.  Because I am the queen of talking myself down and making myself feel bad or worse.  I do it about everything–how I look, how I eat, how the house looks (cleanliness-wise…not like material possession-wise), what kind of friend/wife/sister/daughter/in-law/runner/teacher I am.  If there is a perceived flaw there, I will pick at it.  I will obsess over it.   I’ve done it my whole life.

Tonight I started doing it on my run.  I was supposed to run 4 800 repeats.  I decided to take the dog (to pull me along–mush!) and head to the canal (hello beautiful flat land!).  I did a half mile warm up, but then got antsy.  So I took off.  I did my first 800 in a 7:20 pace (I think–I only checked my Garmin a few times–I was too focused on the task at hand to keep looking, and the new one doesn’t do laps like the old one did, which is a major flaw in my eyes).  Into the wind.  The entire time, with my heart pounding out of control and my breathing getting out of control, all I could think about were the negatives–how bad it felt, how I must look like a crazy person, how I should be going faster, how I wasn’t even moving that fast, so why did I feel so lousy.  I finished the repeat and started jogging slowly to recover.  I did a quarter mile (ish) recovery jog, then took off again (into the wind, even though I was going the other direction).  The second 800 went no better–speed-wise it was fine, but mentally, it was a disaster again.  I finished it and actually stopped running.  I stood there, hands on my knees (hands on yer knees, hands on yer knees…cha cha slide anyone?).  Maybe if you weren’t so lazy…maybe if you weren’t so fat…maybe if you were training harder all around….the negative thoughts just swirled around and around in my head.

So finally I decided to skip the 2 last 800s and just run.  What was the point of running hard and being miserable and thinking horrible things about myself?  Picasso and I cruised down the canal a bit farther.  We stopped so he could go for a swim.  We kept running.  We stopped so he could sniff out some ducks.  We kept running.  We stopped so he could watch a guy fishing.  We kept running.  I got back to the car and immediately started second guessing myself and the run and thinking that I should go back out and finish my repeats.

And then I got pissed.  STOP.  I need to stop.  Stop focusing on the bad parts of the run and start focusing on the good.  I did 2 repeats fast.  I stopped thinking for the rest of the run and just RAN.  Picasso was happy as can be–swimming, fast running, sniffing animals out, just being outside with me.  The rain had stopped as I got out of my car, and I got to run on a beautiful, sunny fall day.

In less than 2 weeks, I run my first 5k in a year.  I have NO idea what to expect.  This is where I was a year ago, and it went well.  So I’m going to hedge my bets and just hope it goes well, and if nothing else, that I have a ton of fun.  And don’t puke at the end.  Not puking seems like a worthwhile goal for my races.

I know I have to get the negative self talk in check–in running and in life in general.   I’m trying to be much more aware of it, and also of the self-deprecating remarks that I can sometimes make.  It’s a work in progress–and as I type that, I realize that it is, in my own little way, negative self-talk.  But I guess if I know it’s something I should fix, then I can start to take the steps to fix it.  So here’s to less negative self-talk.  And a fun (and hopefully fast) 5k in a couple of weeks! 🙂




One Response to “negative self talk”

  1. Jen October 17, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

    I’ve gone through some periods of really bad negative self-talk, and then I get annoyed at myself because I know it’s unproductive. But it’s so hard to stop. If it happens while I’m running, the 2 things that seem to help me are to think of something funny or I just start saying over and over in my head “I love you arms, I love you legs, I love you lungs, I love you heart,” etc until I can’t think of any more body parts.

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