Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Nuisance Inside My Head

No sooner did I sign up for Grandma's Marathon did the voices in my head start their relentless chatter:

"You can't do another marathon."
"You're too old to do another marathon."
"That PF is going to come roaring back."
"Seriously? Another marathon?"
"What are you trying to prove?"
"What are you thinking?"

Do you know these voices? Ever heard those comments? Do you ignore them or succumb?

Those voices used to get under my skin. At this point, as I consider my 5th marathon, I just look at them as just a nuisance.



Self-doubt hit the road.

When I told Becky that I signed up for Grandma's, which is in June, her response was: "we know how to train you for a marathon."

No doubt, no concern, no "you're crazy", just a statement of fact.

Others have asked me, why Grandma's? Why Duluth, Minnesota? Isn't it hilly?

I'll tell you why. I have a connection to the region. My in-laws are from Superior, Wisconsin, which is right across the bay from Duluth. Many years ago, when my husband and I were youngsters, dating, we took a couple summer trips to the region. We visited Grandma's (it's a restaurant) and had lunch there. There was information about the marathon, but I wasn't yet a runner.

A marathon? Who would do that?

We all know the answer to that question...

Yep, Duluth is hilly, but the marathon course is pretty flat. I'm pretty excited about this one. June in northern Minnesota is usually pretty cool. Of course, not last year. It was 80+. I'm hoping that was a fluke.

When making my decision, I also considered my training. I won't have to get serious until February or March, and that's when our weather here in Chicago starts to moderate. Not training in the brutal cold of winter or the heat of summer is pretty appealing too.

What if my PF returns? Or a new injury pops up?

I know how to train for a marathon if I'm injured. I ran Big Sur in April with not a lot of miles under my belt. Battling PF, I did a lot of cross-training. Yes, I ran my dream marathon and finished strong. No, it wasn't even close to a PR. But that was never the goal. I had fun and I felt good.

Currently, I don't have goals for Grandma's. My goals will evolve, depending on my training and how my feet feel. Plus, by setting goals this early I might set myself up to fail. I don't want to give any encouragement to the voices inside my head that tell me I can't do it.

You know what? I've got nothing to prove. I'm looking forward to a road trip and a weekend with a running friend.

Anything else will be a bonus. But the self-doubt?

It's going to stay home.



Do you know that voice? The one that says you can't? How do you shut it down?

I'm linking up with DebRuns for Wednesday Word, which is nuisance. I'm also linking up with Debbie, Lora, Rachel, and Susie for Coaches' Corner.



82 comments :

  1. I, as always, love your writing. I might need to make a little tangible self doubt I could quite very literally leave in my home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Carla! Huge compliment from you, writer extraordinaire, and I'm on a cloud! No self-doubt now for me!

      Delete
  2. For me running and racing are two separate things. When the voices in my head saying negative about races I was doing wouldn't stop, I stopped racing - for 6 years - but continued to run about 25 miles a week. For regular running, I often get the negative - usually due to conditions that make me want to quit or not even start. That's when I negotiate - 10 minutes then you can quit. I mostly never do quit and end up having a fine run.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't that the truth? I rarely quit on a run. Occasionally, it's just not happening for me. Then I do the walk of shame...

      Delete
  3. The voices in my head are encouraging me - that's a whole other set of problems! I've heard great things about Grandma's!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They were encouraging me but when I signed up, it was a different story!

      Delete
  4. I have seriously questioned my sanity for signing up for NOLA in March. It DOES mean training all winter. I hate that. I've only done it once. I considered doing it last winter, but felt I'd had too stressful a year. Ha! Little did I know what was in store for me in 2016 . . .

    But it's not doubt. I know I can do it & I'm excited to do it. I probably won't be so excited in February (it does not moderate here at that time usually -- invariably it's the worst month of the winter).

    Here's hoping you do not have to call on that train for a marathon with an injury experience. And I don't think you're ever too old to run one if you want to.

    I always wondered why it was called Grandma's! Thanks for including that detail.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think running a marathon called Grandma's is perfect for this old lady! Haha!

      Delete
  5. Ooooh.... those voices! They are sometimes the devil! I'm going with your philosophy... no expectations this early. Go to have fun! And lunch or dinner at grandmas... YUP! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We're going to have so much fun! I'm really excited!

      Delete
  6. I so know this feeling. I've wanted to run a full marathon for a few years now but have suffered some injuries that have halted my running. Now I just second guess myself. All the best with Grandma's!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The more I've run, the less second guessing I do. That's a good thing, right?

      Delete
  7. Oh, the self doubt. It does want to pop its nasty little head up, doesn't it? Glad you're overcoming it, because I (and your coach, friends, and readers) know that you got this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess I didn't realize how much Big Sur did for my self confidence. Training with an injury and finishing that race was huge for me. I'm so glad I did it.

      Delete
  8. The voices in our heads can be a total nuisance! I still deal with self doubt, but I do think that tackling a training plan, especially for a marathon, helps to quiet those nagging voices of self doubt. I think gaining confidence in running is one way to eliminate those voice for good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely! The more races we run, the stronger we become as runners.

      Delete
  9. Ohhh I know that voice and I know that voice from my certain loved ones. Glad byou are overcoming it and doing what you love. You are an inspiration, Wendy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad to be at this point in my life where running a marathon doesn't paralyze me with fear!

      Delete
  10. I've heard such good things about Grandma's marathon. My self-doubt is often sparked by other people's comments to me, which are usually driven by their own insecurity or assholishness, so all I usually have to do is take a step back, remind myself of my capabilities, and then boom. I go for it. I'm excited for you! You're going to have so much fun!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have friends who run Grandma's Marathon religiously and LOVE it! I'm glad you're going for it!

    ReplyDelete
  12. You will kick that marathon in the face!! Self-doubt is hideous and we are our own worst enemies. Keep telling yourself how awesome you are for challenging yourself and inspiring others and hopefully those voices will get the hint!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I can't wait to follow your training for Grandma's Marathon! We all have that little voice inside our heads but we can't let it take over. As you always say, we can do hard things!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I have no doubt that you can do it and show those hills of Duluth who's the boss!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope the course is as flat as I've heard. Otherwise, waaaah!

      Delete
  15. Do not ever listen to that voice Wendy! that voice doesn't want anything good for you!

    A while ago, I read Daring Greatly, about how we need to stop letting self doubt into our head. It sounded silly, and weird, but I changed one thing about my thinking. Whenever nasty thoughts about myself crept into my head, such as "You suck, you are not a runner, you can't do this, you are a bad person, you are a bad mom". I just pushed them out... I would turn them to "This running ( or situation ) sucks right now, but I am capable, I have done it before, I can do it again" And I stopped hating myself, which I didn't realize I was doing.

    Sorry, that comment got long... but I believe in you! you are capable of this!! YOu got it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a great technique! I'll be using that.

      Delete
  16. I think you'll be more ticked if you DON'T do Grandma's so I'm glad you're going for it. I love that Becky knows by now to just go with it as well. Haha! Runner's gonna run!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know me well! I'm glad I'm going for it as well. Funny, my husband didn't even flinch when I told him. And Matthew and I plan to make the journey from Duluth to Door County. Should be fun!

      Delete
  17. I was surprised at how hilly Duluth is. Running along the lake? That will be such a treat! Had lunch at Grandma's last week and the servers were all wearing marathon shirts. Have a blast!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, how cool is that? I think it will be fun too! I plan to enjoy myself as well.

      Delete
  18. Dealing with the voices in four easy steps!

    1. Acknowledge the voices.
    2. Tell them why they're wrong.
    3. ???
    4. Profit. AKA, run the marathon anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Grandma's is supposed to be super fun - I'm glad you're doing this one and I have no doubt you'll arrive at the start line ready to go! As for the voices in our heads - can you imagine if they all got together to talk about us? That would be hilarious...wonder if they'd shut each other up and start defending their particular person?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG...I don't even want to think about what they say about me.

      Delete
  20. I do know that voice. It talks to me about my feet all the time.
    I think you just shut it down :) You have nothing to prove and PR is not your motivation for signing up!That is a good place to be in. Each one you finish is a big accomplishment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. After Big Sur, I learned that running a marathon for fun actually is fun! Who knew?

      Delete
  21. Yeah, that voice is actually screaming at me today (after registering for another marathon). Grandma's will be a fantastic experience! Let's shut those voices down!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I love that when you told Becky, she's like ok no big deal.... we've got this.... I've got a lot of voices in my head right now as my nerves are at an all time high during taper. I keep trying to remind myself that race day energy and excitement and crowds will push me through that last 6.2.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The taper is the worst for me! Even though I say all the right things--trust the training, the hay is in the barn, I can and I will--I still doubt myself. I read once somewhere that those nerves mean we really care about what we are doing. I can live with that.

      Delete
  23. I've read a lot about Grandma's marathon, even considered ummm considering it. While it will be cool up there it may not be here. Course Holly trained in the summer heat for Chicago, but Holly is Beast! I can understand why this one would be so much to you, would just you and your husband go or take the kids?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Come run with me! I'm running with Gina Hanzel. My 17 year old is planning to come with me as well--we want to kayak the caves in Lake Superior. Does that tempt you?

      Delete
    2. OMG that does sound so freaking interesting! Kayaking caves Holy Moly!

      Delete
  24. Tell your voices to shove off, you've got this! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is the first time I'm not anxious about signing up. That means something, right?

      Delete
  25. Ay, self-doubt is the worst! But I think one of the best things you've done here is identify it. That's something I am still working on. For a long time, I was telling myself that I didn't have it, and that I have a really strong sense of self-confidence. I believe I do, but I still have more to work on with catching those bad thoughts red handed! You've got this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm in the same boat as you. I can do it, but man, those self-doubting little voices? This time around they're just a nuisance--just little chatter. Maybe they'll be louder next spring. I hope not.

      Delete
  26. I hope you prove that little voice wrong. Scratch that. YOU WILL PROVE THAT VOICE WRONG

    ReplyDelete
  27. I have heard grandma is an awesome race! I honestly didn't know it was a restaurant! The timing of the race is perfect. I think our weather is pretty similar and training March through may sound perfect. How has youthe of been? Do you feel it at all or is it gone? Mine never came back after that week of hellllllll mid June but it took me about another 5 weeks after that to build up my mileage without fear... and at least 10 weeks until I could get out of bed without worrying that the first step would hurt!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh no, the PF is still there, just whispering to me. I've been behaving, but as I start to push my paces again, it's getting a little more lively...

      Delete
  28. I ran this race last year, and it was rainy and chilly for the start, but warmed up so it got brutal. I can tell you that the course is beautiful if you like nature, but it does get pretty desolate out there if you are running alone. I LOVE that race and hope to run it again one day. You've got this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've heard it's mostly flat, which was a big selling point for me. Desolate? I run alone, so that isn't a problem for me. Plus I've got those voices in my head to keep me company...lol...

      Delete
    2. LOL, fair enough!! I loved the quiet parts where you sort of just get lost in your head. Tell those voices to piss off, LOL!! <3 Word of advice, book your hotel NOW. They sell out fast and get very expensive.

      Delete
    3. No worries, I'm staying with Gina and she's already booked a hotel!

      Delete
  29. Oh, and it's not hilly at all...one slight incline (lemon drop "hill") but that's it!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Yes and Yes! It's like you were reading my mind Wendy! You are totally going to prove that little voice wrong!

    ReplyDelete
  31. You go girl! Put those self-doubt demons out of business! This seems like an incredibly well thought out decision and I've heard great things about this marathon. I can't wait to hear all about how your training experience goes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I, of course, had hoped to be running Boston next spring, but since that isn't going to happen, I had a backup plan in mind. Training should be ok in the early spring.

      Delete
  32. Wow, big news ! Good for you ! The timing sounds perfect.
    I have no desire to do another one for the moment. We'll see down the road but I am so looking forward to a break from official training.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure you are so ready for that break! I took a nice long one this year--I get it!

      Delete
  33. If anyone can do it, you can! I am surprised to hear that February is pretty moderate temp wise in your region. I think February is one of our worst months weather wise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I should clarify--February isn't moderate here, the temperatures start to moderate. It can be pretty brutal still. But the days are longer and the sun is warmer.

      Delete
  34. Oh, I know that voice so freaking well. It is always chattering away in my head. It's pretty hard to get them to stop, but it sounds like you've pretty successfully quieted them. I'm proud of you. And you are going to be awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I hate that voice!!!!! It always get me near the end of a long run when I just want to lay down and stop.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! Sometimes I hear it at mile 2 of a long run, which pretty much sucks...

      Delete
  36. Definitely know that voice! It takes so much to ignore it. I don't think in running you'll ever escape it but I try to draw on my past experiences to overcome it, think about a time when I felt really strong. You'll totally prove them wrong when you have an awesome marathon!!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I am this close...THIS CLOSE...to doing Grandma's again. Even with all my tummy probs, two hours of pouring rain, the 7-hour drive to get there AND my terrible training cycle (due to many unfortunate unavoidable circumstances)....it still was a beautiful course and a fabulous race experience for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please, please, please do it! Gina is going to do it--we would have so much fun!!!!

      Delete
  38. It's a HUGE liar!!! You can do any damn thing you want to do because you always put in the work and that is how sh*t gets done! I'm so happy for you and Minnesota in June sounds perfect. Happy training :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right? I've heard so many good things about this race. Looking forward to it.

      Delete
  39. It is soooo hard to shut those voices down, I have been battling them a lot lately as I head to NYC MArathon with my last long run on OCtober 2nd. I know I am trained and ready, but it is hard to shut them down when you are resting rather than running....

    ReplyDelete
  40. That's awesome!! My mom and I want to run a marathon in every state so this one is on my list. I know you will crush your training as always!

    ReplyDelete
  41. I've heard good thinks about Grandma's Marathon. If I ever decide to attempt another marathon I'll have the same attitude - I have nothing to prove and I'll run it just for fun.

    Even though I'm late in reading last week's posts, I'm grateful that you linked up!

    ReplyDelete