Confidence…

I’ve been thinking about this a lot whilst I’ve been pounding the mean streets of Maida Vale this week. Stupidly every time I say or think the word *confidence* I automatically start humming Park life by Blur. The little things that roll around in your head huh?

My confidence waxes and wanes more than a thing that waxes and wanes a LOT at the best of times. Even more so now with this self induced torture – aka The Virgin London Marathon.

Last Sunday I went out and did 12 miles around town – Regents Park and then Hyde Park. It was a horrible day – cold, windy and just generally quite vile. However I stuck it out and completed my allotted mileage in just 2 hours and 5 minutes. Which to be perfectly honest amazed me so much I had to go and check it three times.

Suffice to say that my confidence was full to overflowing after that… Then come Tuesday its like “Aahh I’ve got to go do it all again…” This time a gentle six miles around Regents Park whilst avoiding being mugged by the youth of today. Job done, but this time not so enjoyable. It felt like a slog.

I think it’s quite normal that when you run that you end up having this internal dialogue with yourself. Kind of a Good Mel vs. Bad Mel conversation. Mine usually goes something along the lines of:

Bad Mel: Can I stop now?
Good Mel: Nope. Keep going to that lamp post and then see how you feel.
Bad Mel: But I can’t do it.
Good Mel: Man up bird. This is good for you and you can do it.
Bad Mel: But do I have to do it?
Good Mel: You don’t have to. But if you stop will that make you feel good about yourself?
Bad Mel: No it won’t make me feel good about myself. But it’ll make me happy….
(HAVING NOW MADE IT PAST SAID LAMP POST)
Good Mel: See you can do it.
Bad Mel: Yes (grumble grumble) I can do it.
Good Mel: Isn’t that a good feeling?
Bad Mel: Yes, but I am not sure I can do much more….
Good Mel: Keep going to that lamp post and then see how you feel.

You get the idea?

Anyway last night – I had a bit of a moment. And a good one at that. I toddled off out about half nine for a quick four miles before I called it a night – bit stupid running that late but hell I’m not renowned for being conventional. Wasn’t hugely looking forward to it… It’s been a long week. I’m a bit frazzled by the amount of work I have on my plate right now, I’m off on my hols so trying to get that all sorted blah blah blah. Plus it was my birthday this week so I’ve been large-ing it up more than normal, and more than I really should be. However I decided that I was going to have a GOOD one. PMA and all that.

And you know what? Once I was out it was like my legs and my brain were on cruise control. I was covering distance like it was nothing. Time was passing; I wasn’t feeling completely tortured. And there was no Bad Mel taking bite size chunks out of me. A resounding result.

I got home feeling like I could go out and do it all again. I suppose if anything it just goes to prove that confidence is all about your mind set. Attack something head on, be prepared to put in some hard work and deal with the whole process with the right kind of attitude then anything is achievable.

Today I feel more excited about the Marathon than I’ve felt in a long time. Now that my legs and brain are working in unison, I’m ready to race and I’m confident things will go well. Sometimes it just takes one run to get everything back on track.

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