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    LDRICHEL   48,229
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Kicking Out The Doubt Demons

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Tuesday, September 04, 2012

For this blog, I felt it only fitting to borrow a phrase originally coined by my friend (and author of the books "The Competitor In Me" and "The Competitor In Me II: Facing The Fear"), Francie Van Wirkus. Francie started out running and eventually went on to become a triathlete and then an Ironman. Obviously, Francie is a huge inspiration to me and definitely a driving force behind my interest in triathlon.

In her books, Francie frequently refers to those inner voices that come against a person and try to discourage or bring fear. She calls them "doubt demons". And she talks about how she works to defeat those doubt demons over and over and over and over. Sadly, they never seem to go away forever.

Before this injury, I thought I knew the doubt demons. But, for the past few days, I feel like they have descended upon my spirit en masse. Even in my passion and fervor to learn how to ride a bike and plan my various workouts and keep my calorie consumption under control, they have still be having a good old time in my brain. You see, that's the thing about doubt demons...they don't care how hard you work or what actions you have taken to do what's right...they just keep picking at you. They keep demeaning and they keep discouraging.

Today, I felt overwhelmed by them. As I said, it's been building for a few days. Nightmares and everything. In particular, though, I have begun to doubt my ability to run my 5k on Saturday (a 5k!) And I was getting close to panicking about being ready for my 10k race on September 29th. That's not very far away, you know. And, when I thought about my half marathon on October 20th, well...that is not even something I can describe. The doubt demons were EATING ME ALIVE on that one. They kept saying, "You won't be ready. What do you think you're doing? You can't do this, Leah. You will hurt yourself. You will make a fool of yourself."

Today, I knew what I needed to do. At some point, you just have to prove them wrong. And that is the only way to silence them. I was supposed to run 3.1 this morning. But the weather was so dark and foggy, I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I got home from a full day of work just wiped out. But I knew I had to do it. I couldn't handle those voices of discouragement one minute longer.

I went for my run. The first real run since I was injured 7 weeks ago. Warmed up with a 5 minute walk and then ran for 5 minutes. Walk break. So far, so good. If I can do 5 minutes running, 1 minute walking the entire way...that's not bad! But, my gosh, it 90 degrees and who knows what the nasty humidity was! I walked one minute, ran 2 minutes and had to walk again. Sweat was POURING down.

Doubt Demons: See, you've lost it. You cannot do this. You have to start all over.

Ran 4 minutes and had to walk.

Doubt Demons: You're never going to be in shape by the 29th. No way.

Ran 2 minutes and walked.

Doubt Demons: How could you register for that half marathon? You probably wasted your money.

Finally, I was at the halfway point. 1.55 miles. Actually, I thought, I'm on time with my normal pace, despite all the extra walk breaks. So, I'm not doing so badly. Also, it's freaking 90 degrees out here and I can barely breathe. And, it's afternoon (not my most energetic time) and I'm exhausted from this day!

Doubt Demons: Excuses.

No...no...grace. Because I haven't done this in 7 weeks. And it wasn't my fault I got injured and I did the right thing by resting. If I keep working and putting in the miles, I'll be ready. You know what? Shut up. SHUT UP now!

From that point on, they were silent. I broke the last half of the run up into small pieces...just like when I first started running back in March. Just go from this sign to that next sign. Go from this curve to the top of that hill. Go from that next curve to the curve after that. Just go up this little hill and then you can walk. Just run the rest of the way home and you'll be done.

In the end, I made it in 45 minutes - with heat, with humidity, with doubt demons, and without the normal energy that I have in my morning runs.

My PR in a 5k is 42 mins 30 secs. If conditions had been better, perhaps I could have met that time.

When I realized that I just might PR this race on Saturday, well...I don't know what happened to those stupid DDs but they are gone.

I have time before September 29th and October 20th. One thing at a time.

For now, Bloomingfoods 5k on Saturday...YOU ARE MINE.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

INTNLCHANGE 9/12/2012 8:06PM

    It's so funny (well actually encouraging) when I begin reading someone Else's post that says such similar ideas as my own (much more eloquently than mine but the same premise) lol. I am being very encouraged by the fact that I am NOT the only one. I am no where near a 5k but what I call my inner brat and you call doubt demons still plague me just the same. Thank you for sharing, it really is encouraging to know that someone who is as far along as you are is still human and still plucking away. I'm sorry you are still having to deal with your inner demons but if they weren't there would we push ourselves as much? Would it be as much of a victory when we do? Would you be able to inspire others as much? Idk. I just know that you seem to be doing quite awesome and it is encouraging!!! Congrats and have hope!!!

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KELLAORION 9/9/2012 12:30PM

    I want to copy this blog entry and save it for when I get demotivated. emoticon for reminding me that I'm not the only one with doubts. Hopefully next time I reach a dead end, I will persevere like you did.

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NONNIEJTC 9/8/2012 9:10PM

  So encouraging, and so true. Action stops the negative voices! Keep up the good work!

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ANNISSAT 9/8/2012 7:43PM

    emoticon

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JULIA1154 9/8/2012 5:49PM

  Good working showing those DD the door! Give yourself a huge pat on the back. emoticon

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LITTLEIM 9/8/2012 3:48PM

    Your blog is inspiring. I have always felt like I can't do exercise properly because I wasn't sporty at school and those doubt demons have whispered to me to just avoid the embarrassment of exercise ever since. However, I have realised this is silly and that exercise is important. I can do it, maybe not as well as other people, but as well as I can manage myself. Reading things from people like you helps me realise that I'm not the only one to find it hard and all I need to do is ignore those demons and try. Thank you!

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DANAEBOYCE1 9/8/2012 1:02PM

    I have a 5k tomorrow and I know what you mean!

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SH9719 9/8/2012 12:30AM

    Doubts pale when faced with success. This is just a great example of it. When everthing seems to be going wrong all you have to do is find one success and things are better.

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BLOOMING52 9/7/2012 10:31PM

    good luck!

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NELLBELLA26 9/7/2012 9:28PM

    Show those doubt demons who is boss! Good luck tomorrow!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KPETSCHE 9/7/2012 9:18PM

    Good luck on that 5K tomorrow!!

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NANAWOO1 9/7/2012 5:42PM

  you are going to do it because you have the special something in side you that wont let you fail god bless you


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LRSILVER 9/7/2012 4:44PM

    Great blog!

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IFEOMA4 9/7/2012 4:09PM

  GREAT

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KRISTENMBATT 9/7/2012 2:06PM

    Awesome!! emoticon

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THEWORSTWITCH 9/7/2012 12:28PM

    Way to put those doubt demons in their place! Best wishes on your race tomorrow. Sounds like you have a good plan. There are many people rooting for you. More than you know.
emoticon

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EWL978 9/7/2012 11:58AM

    You GO, girl!!!!

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READE2MOVE2012 9/7/2012 11:57AM

  Great blog . A lot of us have had those demons tap dancing in our heads. Thanks on tips to get rid of them

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PEACOCK15 9/7/2012 10:01AM

    Nice job kicking those nasty buggers out of your head! It is amazing what they can do to your psyche. Get out there and tackle your races!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JANI-LOU 9/7/2012 8:05AM

  Great blog! Thanks for the inspiration! :-)
Jan

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CZEIDMAN 9/7/2012 7:00AM

  This really is wonderful. Congrats on coming back from an injury- it can be so tempting to get out there too early and just reinjure yourself- which extends the whole recovery. You did fantastic!

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SWEDE_SU 9/7/2012 4:11AM

    leah, what you are doing there is really the galloway walk run method - and i just nailed a 10k 9 minutes faster by walking 30 seconds, running 30 seconds the whole race than i did in the same 10k last year, running the whole way. with enough energy to run several minutes just before the finish and a smile on my face as i crossed the line. i expect my HM time next month to be pretty close to my time 5 years ago when i ran, but i expect to be feeling much better - the method works. plus when it's 90 degrees you have to expect to be slower - that's nasty conditions out there! you tell those doubt demons to go take a hike, girl, because you *can* do it - and you will!!

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MIRFA71 9/7/2012 3:53AM

    emoticon emoticon

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SLFGOLF 9/7/2012 1:03AM

    Good going! Breaking it down and doing it. That's the way you succeed. Don't let those little voices beat you out! Wishing you great success in your upcoming races.

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FIREFLY_MEDIC 9/7/2012 12:48AM

    :)

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NUMD97 9/7/2012 12:29AM

    Great blog! I'm going to concur with NANRYS: It's EXACTLY what I needed to read today (how did you know?).

Thanks!

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FATHINSN 9/6/2012 11:38PM

    Congrats, you're winning against the Doubt Demons! My inner demons only come out when I'm running, perhaps because I'm also feeding them my dislike of running so they are winning (for now).

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NANRHYS 9/6/2012 11:23PM

    Great post - and exactly what I needed to hear today!

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BKNOCK 9/6/2012 9:47PM

    emoticon

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JMARIES51 9/6/2012 9:47PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon Stomp those voices right out of your head!

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CAROL494 9/6/2012 8:23PM

  emoticon

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KEVES87 9/6/2012 8:15PM

    Great job!


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SOON2BSMALL1313 9/6/2012 7:44PM

    Awesome!!!!!!

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KACEYSW 9/6/2012 7:03PM

    Don't let the turkeys in your head get you down. You are worth doing this the right way!

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IMAVISION 9/6/2012 3:53PM

    emoticon emoticon

God bless you with much success!

Ima

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MILADY_LCF 9/6/2012 1:56PM

    emoticon

OWN THAT emoticon

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VBA0731 9/6/2012 1:27PM

    emoticon

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SWEETEYES0601 9/6/2012 1:18PM

    Rock on! I'm going to try my first 5k through a SP Challenge on the week on Halloween. I'm almost to the point of keep ing up with my little 9 1/2 year old baseball player, so there's hope. emoticon

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ROB704 9/6/2012 1:15PM

    !! Nicely done. The run and the win ;)

Years ago during one of my first trips to DC I was walking around the mall with a colleague - it's quite a distance from the Capital and Congressional Office buildings (where we had just finished a series of meetings) to the monuments at the other end. When I suggested a cab he just scoffed and said, "we'll get there, we can walk slow - still gets us there, just takes longer." We ended up walking a few miles - ending up by GW. I hadn't done that since I was a teenager.

I will always remember that day because it was the first time that I realized that I could accomplish a physical goal just be changing my mindset.



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VARSWIFE 9/6/2012 12:39PM

    emoticon emoticon

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THINTASTICME 9/6/2012 12:35PM

    No doubts about it, You will do GREAT!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MYBABYGIRLS 9/6/2012 12:10PM

    emoticon

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JUDSTERF 9/6/2012 11:24AM

    emoticon You know, if it wasn't for the high heat temperatures as well as the humidity, I think you may have beat your 42 min and 30 sec!! Go for it!! emoticon

Judy emoticon

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GODSBEST 9/6/2012 10:52AM

    You can do this - on your mark, get set, ready GO!

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JLEMUS1 9/6/2012 9:58AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ESME25 9/6/2012 9:56AM

    emoticon emoticon

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IRISHKROE 9/6/2012 9:55AM

    Thanks for posting! I keep trying to push them away too....we are far better! Go own that 5k!!!

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GAYLE-G-63 9/6/2012 9:36AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CUDDLYPOLARBEAR 9/6/2012 9:35AM

    emoticon

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MUSOLF6 9/6/2012 9:04AM

    emoticon emoticon

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