Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Running Confident #thefitdish


Once again, the #FitDish comes up with a great blog prompt.

When do I feel most confident?

For most of my life, I lacked self-confidence. I don't know why. Was it being the first born? Living in the shadow of my blonde, cute, smart younger sister? Being pushed to always do more, be better?

Is confidence innate? Are people born confident? How can you develop confidence?


Even in my own family, I've got 2 boys who couldn't be more different. My oldest son, who has struggled a bit the last couple of years, has always lacked confidence. He hasn't done great at school, even though he's bright. Tried sports in his younger years, but quit everything, even though he has a ton of natural ability. He doesn't have a lot of friends. In contrast, my youngest son has an easy confidence about him. He isn't naturally gifted at sports but pushes himself to achieve. He's well liked by everyone he meets. Raised in the same home, only 2 years apart, I can't believe that I did anything hugely different with them.

My mom would say the same about my sister and me.

Of course, time has passed for me, and as I have gotten older, I've developed a strong sense of who I am. This self-confidence hasn't come easily to me, and there have been a lot of stumbles on my journey. But I can say with 100% certainty that one thing that has made me confident is running. It didn't happen overnight. In fact, I ran many years before I could even identify myself as a runner. Running was just something I did. It was when I started running half marathons that I fully realized that this is something I was pretty good at. In spite of my success on the road, I was also pretty good at self-sabotage, too. If a race wasn't going well, those negative voices were hard to shut down. I crashed and burned more often than I care to admit.

A lifetime of bad habits is hard to break.

Running my first marathon, which was a disaster, sent my confidence into a tailspin. But because my growing confidence had spilled over to other areas of my life (work, motherhood), I was able to move on fairly easily. It did take me a couple of years before I attempted that distance again, and with my success the second time around, I finally felt like a full-fledged runner.


My most recent 2 races sealed the deal for me. Between last week's half marathon and the Chicago marathon I ran in October, I've come to the point where I am confident with my ability to run a race, even when things don't go as planned. Instead of falling apart at Chicago when I realized that the heat was going to prevent me from reaching my goal, I changed my strategy, ran a smart race, and salvaged the race, finishing strong with my new, alternate goal. That smile on my face at the finish line wasn't as much about my finish time as it was about me feeling confident enough to pull back, to stay mentally strong, and to run through feeling pretty awful. With this past weekend's half marathon, I had no plan but to go with the flow. I didn't train for this race, signing up at the last minute. When I started to run, I dialed into my feelings and knew how to pace myself. I didn't run with the crowd. And I knew when I could push myself.

Both these races were fun. It's really awesome to be at this point in my running to have the confidence to know how to run a race. If you've been following me for a while, you know that I have worked really hard to get to this point. My mental toughness training is as rigorous as my physical preparation. Just ask my coach. It's still a work in progress, but it's all forward progress. I couldn't be more happy.


I feel most confident when I am running.

How about you? When do you feel most confident?

Be sure to check out the other posts on Jill's and Jessica's blogs. I'm also linking up with Tuesdays on the Run aka Marcia, Erika, and Patti for today's topic...TMI! Heck, I bared it all here...so show me what you've got!












And don't forget to enter my giveaway! Only 5 more days to go...you won't want to miss out!

50 comments :

  1. Running certainly has made me more confident in myself and in my body in general. If I can handle marathon training, I can handle what is coming (gulp) next!

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  2. Running has definitely made me more confident in other aspect of my life, and also I am able to own my confidence. I still only feel confident with things I have a lot of experience in. When it's the unknown, I don't feel as confident at all. :(

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    1. But running gives me the confidence to tackle those unfamiliar tasks!

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  3. I have a brother and a sister, and we all couldn't be more different (and more the same, too).

    I am the baby of the family. I am very confident about some things, not so much about others. I am shy and have never had a large group of friends (unlike my brother). And even though I am NOT a talented runner, it has given me a lot of confidence, too. Just finishing something you weren't sure you could is a huge ego boost!

    Or maybe it's just we're at an age when we grow more into ourselves.

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    1. I think aging is a big part of feeling confident!

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  4. I think with age, confidence grows simple because you are more comfortable with yourself. Running has helped me gain alot of confidence, not because of my performances in races, but the joy and happiness that has come from the sport.

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    1. I also chalk some of that confidence up to chasing and meeting goals, and pushing outside of my comfort zone!

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  5. What a great post! I think this is why running is so powerful in our lives!

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  6. I am the oldest. I was very shy growing up. I am less shy as an adult. But you won't see me doing kareoke.

    I started playing tennis in my forties but I still wasn't confident about my athletic ability.

    But running has given me confidence. Especially every time I finish a half marathon or win an age group award. I am not fast but for my "old" age in a small race, I am speedy. What a confidence builder.

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    1. I agree with 100%! It saddens me to think of women in our age group giving up running. There is so much to offer for everyone.

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  7. Running has definitely made me much more confident...and that confidence from running has spilled into every area of my life.... (same with my kids by the way....same parents....completely different in personality and confidence level....a struggle for me to watch the one that isn't confident...sigh)

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    1. Hurts your heart, doesn't it? For me, because I was that kid..and adult...

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  8. Until this past year running definitely boosted my confidence. But sometimes it's mind over matter. I'm the middle child with an older sister and younger brother who could do no wrong...

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    1. Isn't it interesting how our life as a child molds the way we see ourselves as as adult?

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  9. Really inspirational Wendy! I just love reading your blog. It's funny isn't it? My boys are barely 2 years apart too and couldn't be more different. At almost 4 and 6 it's hard to believe that someday they will be in high school like your boys!

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    1. I can't believe mine are in high school! It sounds so corny, but really, where has the time gone?

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  10. I am not to sure if I agree with you about the confidence with running. I have been running over 8 years now. Every time a line up at the starting line, I am always doubting whether I will be able to finish the race.

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    1. I never doubt that I can finish, but I will tell you I always am nervous!

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  11. Well put! I do feel experience teaches us to not fall part and make the most of run. I've have been in that situation a few times past few years and adjusting as needed, so I could smile and keep going was a lot more fun than beating my self up because I couldn't maintain a specific pace.

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  12. I started out being confident. I was the overachiever in the family. But somewhere along the line, it was in the corporate world for me, I started drinking the Koolaid and believing I wasn't all that great. What I'm not great at is office politics. Running gave me my confidence back. When I lace up, I know I can bring it.

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    1. Oh, I'm so not good at office politics. Thankfully, running gave me confidence to stand up to the nonsense.

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  13. My last 2 kids are very different and only 2 years apart too. It must be something already wired in the brain. I would have to admit my confidence has been shaken recently... I do think it will come back in time.

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    1. Injury does a number on the psyche. Hang in there...

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  14. Its amazing how something as simple as running can help us to feel more confident about ourselves. Prior to starting to run in 2013, I said that I could never run. But its amazing how when you put your mind to something how you're able to overcome a mindset and accomplish your goal!

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    1. Isn't that the truth! You're going to get to draw on all those skills when you run your next marathon...in the delivery room!

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  15. Such a great writing prompt. Confidence has so much to do with success because without self-confidence it is so easy to talk yourself out of success and to second guess yourself. I am definitely confident as an athlete and have been working hard to stay fully confident during races even when things get tough!

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    1. That is exactly how I feel! And the more I run, the more confident I am about finishing strong.

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  16. It was running for me, as well. I still remember my first 11 miles I ever ran. It was life changing for me. My first Half-Marathons mean more to me than my Marathons. I don't know why, maybe because I always felt so intimidated by running, and then actually ended up becoming a runner later in my life. Either way, it led me on such a positive path. It felt like if I can handle this I can handle other things. For the first time in my life I felt confident.

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    1. I still remember my first 7 mile run! It seemed so huge!

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  17. I agree with you on running being a confidence builder. I was always the slightly chubby, nerdy, and clumsy kid and young woman. All of a sudden running and then triathlon gave me a sense of community and confidence! Amazing how it can have such an effect.

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    1. I wasn't good at any sports, growing up! Funny tho, as much as I hated the idea of running, that's pretty much all we did when we were kids!

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  18. Although my mother will say differently, I was always very self-conscious and not at all confident. It took until my 30s before I really developed my self-confidence and sense of self. It's made a huge difference. Running has also given me a lot of confidence. Since I've started, I've been so much more open to new experiences. Conversely, little man? That kid is the freaking mayor. He doesn't have a non-confident bone in his body, and I hope it never changes for him.

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    1. I hope he never changes either! I love that about my youngest too. I wish I could give some of it to my oldest son.

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  19. That Beyonce meme is hilarious! Running does make you pretty badass so you should totally feel confident!

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    1. I wish I had 1% of her confidence (and her talent!)

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  20. Awesome post! I'm so glad you were able to find your confidence through running! I'm still working on that honestly, but blogging has helped a lot with that!

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  21. It's weird because while I don't always feel confident in my running ability, running has made me a more confident person. Happy Wednesday Wendy!

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    1. Not weird at all! Since running poses a challenge to you, overcoming those challenges gives you more confidence in yourself! Right?

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  22. I see a lot of myself in you, I think we are very similar. I've always struggled with self confidence for some reason, but even more so after I had kids and didn't go back to work full time. Right now, running is my confidence booster as well. I feel strong and unstoppable!

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    1. I do feel like we are a lot alike! :) We need to meet... #solesisters

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  23. I 100000% agree! I feel most confident when I am running or in the gym. Some days I feel down on myself regarding my body and how I look, but then I remind myself that this body is capable of runnign 26.2 miles and that is pretty awesome.

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    1. Oh, absolutely! I think it's so empowering when you think about what your body is capable of!

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  24. Running has given me a lot of confidence. The confidence to push myself and try something I never thought I would do. Now I sit and wonder, why did I wait so long?

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    1. Right? I wish I had done this when I was a teenager. Imagine what a difference that would have made in my life.

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  25. I never thought about running in that way, but I completely agree with you! Great post :)

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    1. Running is so much more than physical!

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