So, I’m about to sign up for my 7th marathon. I’ve actually been about to sign up for the last 2 weeks, but somehow I haven’t got round to pressing submit. It’s probably because I’m scared. Scared I’ll be slow, scared I don’t have time and scared my body can’t handle it anymore. I guess they’re valid concerns. Everything’s different after having a baby- mind, body and lifestyle. But, different is my new normal and it’s time to embrace it.
I want to run a marathon to prove that I can- to reassure myself that the old Jess is still there. To get the buzz of an early morning 5k and the pleasant fatigue of a Sunday long run. I want the pre-race nerves and the excitement of the start line. I want to high five people on the way round. I want to push myself to the very end and then celebrate with champagne. Despite the changes- I’m still a marathoner. I still need that high.
Right now, my mindset’s limiting me. I’m full of self doubt and fear, which is both a waste of energy and waste of potential. After researching the impact of mindset on health and performance, it’s clearer than ever that it’s my limiting factor. What I’ve learnt recently is there’s two types of mindset: Growth vs Fixed.
People with a growth mindset believe that nothing’s set in stone and that positive changes can happen through hard work. They approach their training with a can- do attitude, and believe the work they put in will pay off. They won’t be limited by self-doubt or perceived limitations.
On the other hand, people with a fixed mindset think they’ve been unlucky- that life’s not on their side. They’re full of excuses and it stops them reaching their potential.
At the moment, this is me and my thoughts on marathon training go something like this;
- “If I’m still getting up through the night I’ll be too tired too run. Everything’s going to ache and it will be awful.”
- “My body’s not the same. My core’s weaker so I’ll probably end up with back pain.”
- “Running with a buggy doesn’t really count as training, I’ll be so slow!”
But… I’m trying to harness these types of thoughts;
- “I’m so lucky to be able to train in the day whilst it’s light- rather than getting up in the dark at 5am”
- “I’ve no idea how having a baby will effect my running but I’ll train as hard as I can and do my best. Who knows, maybe it will work in my favour…”
- “My core’s probably weaker so I’ll focus on it during my training to make sure it doesn’t cause problems”
Reading these back, it’s so obvious how a fixed mindset puts me in the wrong frame of mind. It constantly makes me doubt and question myself which is only going to end in frustration and disappointment.
Writing and repeating positive affirmations is definitely a way for me to channel a positive mindset. I love Charlie’s mantra of “I get to run,” rather than, “I have to run.” It makes me remember that no one’s making me do it- it’s a choice not a punishment, and after not being able to run for almost a year, I feel pretty lucky to get back out there.
Now I just need to sign up…
Are you limited by your mindset?! How to you overcome it?
I’d love to hear from other Mum’s taking on a physical challenge- whether it’s your first 5km or a marathon, let’s do it together!