Overcoming negativity- sometimes I don’t.

Overcoming negativity- sometimes I don’t.

Most of the time I enjoy running.  I love when I can run with friends. I also love the quiet moments I have when I run on my own.  I love the easy run days when I can enjoy the simplicity of it all. And I especially love nailing hard workouts and finishing feeling strong. But every workout is not great and sometimes I do not feel strong.  In fact, I do not feel good at all. I had one of these runs yesterday.

The workout: Threshold session- 12 miles total
1.5 mile warm-up
15 K (9.3 miles) @ 15K-HM pace
1.2 mile cool-down

I knew going into it that this would be a hard workout.  I have a 15K on Feb 2nd and a half marathon on Feb 9th so this was going to be a key workout in my training.  For various reasons I thought the treadmill would be my best option. 

The warm-up was around an 8:10 pace and very uneventful.  I tried to focus my mind as if I were about to run a real race.  In my upcoming 15K I would really like to break 60 minutes.  This requires averaging a 6:27.  I don’t know if I am quite ready for that.  In the 10K I did on the TM last week I averaged a 6:20.  I just couldn’t see running 3.1 more miles and only slowing my pace by 7 seconds per mile.  So I decided for this run to set the TM to a 6:30-something and see how it felt.  I ended up settling with a 6:35 and hoped I could lower it as the run went on.  I did not plan on stopping the treadmill for any breaks.

Mile 1- 6:40. A little slower because TM started slow and had to pick up the pace.
Mile 2- 6:35. Felt ok but I knew I had a long way to go.
Mile 3- 6:35. This is taking forever.
5K-20:29
Mile 4- 6:35. I’m over 1/3 of the way done. One mile at a time.
Mile 5- 6:35. After this mile I will be over half way done.
Mile 6- 6:35. Hold on to the 10K and then I’ll be 2/3 done.
10K- 40:54
Mile 7- 6:35. Getting hard to focus.  I started counting down minutes. Tried to get a sip of water from my water bottle without stopping or slowing TM.
Mile 8- 6:35.  WHAT WAS I THINKING? WHY AM I DOING THIS?? I am NOT a good runner.  I can’t break 60 minutes.  Am I even going to beat last year’s time? I am so hot. (And I do NOT mean in the looking good way.  My shirt was soaked and I was dripping sweat all over TM.)
Mile 9- 6:22.  I made myself pick it up the last mile as I mentally counted down laps around a track.
Mile 9.3- ?? When I realized I could possibly finish before the TM read “1:01” I decided to pick it up so I set TM to a 5:40 and sprinted as fast as I could to the finish.  As soon as the treadmill read “9.3” I slammed the STOP button and got off so I could walk around a few seconds.

Final time- 1:00:58 (6:33 avg.)  

I walked around and drank some water.  I tried to get back on the TM for my cool-down but did not make it very far at all.  I started feeling dizzy and sick.  I was dehydrated and feeling overheated.  I knew I needed to lay down asap so I didn’t pass out.  I made my way to the back of the gym by the scales and ab rollers.  I laid down for a few minutes to catch my breath.  After the sick feeling passed I decided I was well enough to get up but I didn’t want to even attempt to finish my cool-down.  I was done.

I am glad I was able to finish the actual 15K portion of my workout but it was not pretty.  I may have pushed myself a little too far and it got really hard to stay positive the last 5K.  Ughhh.  Feeling dizzy/ lightheaded and sick is never a good way to end a workout.  I am not proud of the negative thoughts I let myself think in the last 5K.  I didn’t stop running so maybe I should at least be glad in that.  Maybe this made me mentally stronger for my race.  Who knows.

So I’m just going to try to move on from this one.  Will I ever run a 15K on a TM again?  I don’t know.  It definitely won’t be any time soon I hope.  FYI- This workout really wasn’t in my original schedule from Advanced Marathoning.  The original schedule called for a 12 mile run with 7 miles at 15 K pace but I wanted to add the extra 2.3 miles to make it a real 15K. So I have no one to blame but myself.

Anyway, hopefully the rest of the week will be better with this one behind me.  Got to move on.

Anyone else experience similar thoughts sometimes?  How do you move past them?
How do you motivate yourself on the treadmill?
Where do you prefer to do your tempo runs?

13 thoughts on “Overcoming negativity- sometimes I don’t.

  1. I am even more impressed today reading this here than I was reading it on Daily Mile. I so would have given up and said I was only to run 7 at that pace. You stuck with it and finished super strong. You gave your all with this workout and I have no doubt it will make you stronger in the end. Enough of the silly talk that you aren’t a good runner!

  2. Wow- what a recap. I felt your pain with every mile, like I was right there next to you. I hate those runs where the self doubt slowly creeps in and overtakes the run by the end. It seems to happen most to me on the treadmill with a long tempo, just like your run today. But- the good news- is that you finished it and didn’t quit. It sounds totally cliche, but it WILLmake you stronger. And the next time the negativity creeps in then just remember this post!

  3. Having the struggle is not a problem for therein lies the development. Working through the struggle is a sign of great fortitude. Despite some disappointment in the negative thoughts, I’d say this was a huge “building” workout and congratulate you on a job well done.

  4. The thing about the negative thoughts is that they are automatic, they just pop in your mind, you don’t choose them. They are your brain’s way to slow you down and maintain homeostasis. The challenge is on not giving in and not stopping, which you did! Awesome run and I have no doubt you will get the sub 60 min!

  5. If you are like me it’s much harder to run fast on the treadmill than outside and it’s much harder to replicate race speed in a training run. If I had attempted the same workout (not paces just trying to hit my race pace) I’m sure it would have been a train wreck! You did great Tia!

  6. You rocked that run, tia. From an outsider reading an account of the run, you held on and made it happen. I think my speed workouts are much harder on the treadmill. I think you completely have it well within your reach to break 60 on the actual 15k race. The tough run might not have been so much a reflection of your running “shape” but just more of your mental state in that day and moment. We need those really tough workouts! Proud of you for sticking it through and cranking that last 1.3 miles! That proves you have what it takes to get your goal. I am the same way, no matter how hard I am struggling, I usually need to crank the last bit. Looking forward to your races!

  7. Tia, that’s what you call a kickass workout. Everything was pointing for you to quit or turn down the pace, but instead you sped up and you rocked it. You pushed through all of the bad stuff. Your mind was negative, but it didn’t win. This IS where your strength comes in. I would have loved to be in that gym. Totally inspiring. Thank you for being honest about it. I probably would have said a few very loud choice words as I slammed the stop button! Way to go, Tia!

  8. I have negative thought all the time when I run hard. My best distraction is the kids. When I’m TM running they’re always around, and. It’s sort of distracting and comforting, but when it gets really tough I have all kinds of negative thoughts. I take things a mile at a time or even two minutes at a time if I need to. I don’t think ahead. You did great! I also feel sick all the time. I’m sure I’m running harder than my body was meant and I don’t plan on doing it forever, which is how I get myself to do it. After next October I think I might take a training break

  9. It’ll be so much different in a race. There’ll be other people, things to look at and a reason to feel that sort of pain. I don’t know how you do it on a treadmill.

  10. Wow! What an amazing run — I can’t imagine actually running my 15k pace on a treadmill for the entire 15k. Very impressive, Tia!

    I watch Netflix on my TV to distract myself during my treadmill runs. But if I’m doing a speed workout on the treadmill, I find that I need to focus more on my running and not on the TV. I like to visualize myself in a race where I’m running strong with great form and crushing my goal. That helps motivate me but it isn’t always easy. 🙂

  11. Man, you are simply amazing, Tia. To run that pace on a treadmill for a 15k is simply amazing!!!! You are SO going to break an hour in your race! It’s only 58 sec faster than that for 9 miles – that’s only 6 or so sec a mile faster – YOU SO HAVE THIS =) =)
    You are my hero.

  12. The thought of running on the treadmill that fast makes me want to puke! You totally rock for completing that run! I have runs like that and just have to remind myself that a great run is just around the corner. Don’t let it shake you:)

  13. I have no idea how you can hold yourself to a pace like that when you’re feeling awful! You have some serious mental toughness. Just amazing. Even if you weren’t feeling great, you still nailed it! I’m with Michele, you are my hero. 🙂

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