It's so easy to get caught up in a cycle of negativity. Trust me on this one. I've got the DNA for negativity. But the first step towards improvement is awareness, right? I've had a lot of practice, and once I realize my mindset is heading south, I'm pretty good at turning my thinking around.
I've had some help too. My coach Becky refuses to let me complain or even apologize for a less than stellar effort. In fact, if I utter a negative thought, it's burpees for me. You can't make a runner run for punishment, right? Don't tell her this, but while I don't know that I'll ever love burpees, I'm minding them less. I've gotten stronger and they aren't as hard as they used to be for me.
Maybe that's all part of her plan?
Anyways, life has tried its hardest to drag me down these last couple of weeks. As Cousin Eddie would say, "shitter's full".
|Sorry for the crude reference.|
From National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
As it turns out, I have a whole lot to say. I recently wrote that post about training in the winter. I'm going to expand these thoughts to running in general. Maybe even life in general.
Clearly, I need this. Let's break it down:
-The pessimist just complains or whines. It feels good at the time but gets you nothing.
-The optimist acknowledges the issue, but turns their thoughts around to a positive mindset. If you struggle with this, like I do, then maybe you need an extra push over to positivity.
-I've included mantras to repeat to yourself when you're feeling particularly negative.
-And because I'm a goofball, there's the jokester's perspective, which just basically makes fun of everything. I do that too. Because sometimes the only thing you can do is laugh.
Don't roll your eyes. It really works.
Meet the Pessimist, the Optimist, and the Jokester and their approach to the run:
Pessimist: It's cold, it's dark, it's hot, it's raining (whatever).
Optimist: Wow, -2F! That's pretty cold. But the sun is out. I've done this before. I can do this. I can do hard things. I'll need to layer up. OR Yes, it's raining. It can't always be sunny when I run. Running in the rain can feel good.
Jokester: Free shower!
Mantra: If we waited for perfect conditions, we'd never get anything done.
|Embrace the conditions.|
Optimist: I do feel tired today. Not every run is a good one. But I told myself I'd get 4 miles in today, and I'm going to do that. No matter what it takes. I'll feel so much better for finishing.
Jokester: There's pie at home!
Mantra: Not every run may be good, but there's something good in every run.
|There's something good in every run. This was my first speedwork session last summer while training for Chicago. The good thing? I finished.|
Optimist: I don't like running on the treadmill. How can I make the most of this workout? Intervals? Speedwork? I've got a great playlist to help push me.
Jokester: (singing) "I'm on the road to nowhere..."
Mantra: Every step takes me closer to my goal.
|I do loathe the treadmill. It's a necessary evil. Every step takes me closer to my goal.|
Optimist: 20 miles is really far! I'm going to feel so much more ready for my marathon after tackling that distance!
Jokester: Chuck Norris never ran a marathon.
Mantra: I can and I will.
|Last long run before Chicago. I can and I will.|
Optimist: Running isn't easy, but I'm getting stronger with each run.
Jokester: Run? I thought you said rum.
Mantra: The body achieves what the mind believes.
This was a great exercise for me. Forcing myself to write about optimism actually helped me feel more optimistic as I look forward to February and starting my marathon training cycle. I'm sure I'll be coming back to this post to remind myself to always look on the bright side!
"Imagine something good about every race you run, and learn to be an optimist."-Jack Daniels
What to do you do to turn those negative thoughts around? Are you naturally an optimist? A pessimist? A jokester? What's your favorite mantra?
I have a new one after Monday's yoga class: Chill Out or Burn Out. Best advice I've gotten lately.
I'm linking up with DebRuns at Wednesday Word. Check out what all the optimists are saying!