The Power of the Positive State of Mind

So I might have mentioned in my last blog something about a 10km run….mentioning it was just another one of my strategies to ensure I actually did it – I mean surely it is easier to do it than have to tell people that I didn’t!!!. You see I will admit to finding any excuse to not going out for a run and yet I know that it is one of the best (and cheapest) things for me to do to keep fit and healthy. So back in May I put my name down to do the Arundel 10km at the end of August. I paid my £15 entrance fee and started thinking about how I would achieve this. You would probably think that I should start running, but in fact the first thing I did was to post the news on Facebook – as soon as I did this I knew there would be no getting out of it. I got lots of comments, including several people stating that I had picked possibly one of the hardest 10km races to start with…very hilly is how they described it!!!!! But even after these comments I knew that I would do it….there would be no getting out of it. So then I had to start running and let me tell you that the furthest I have ever really run, since having kids, is 5km and only then a couple of times!

At least one week went by after taking the decision to enter the ‘very hilly’ race and I managed to find many excuses to not run but still I firmly had it set in my head that my positive state of mind would get me through it. Week two started and on the Monday I ran 2.5km. It was tough, really tough but I did it and once I had finished I felt amazing and felt like I could do it all again without and problems. Wednesday morning and I did it all again, and then again on Friday. I truly felt that I was getting somewhere. The following week I knew I had to increase my distance so I did 3.6km followed by 4.4km two days later. At this point I was beginning to feel more confident, especially seeing as my very good friend George, who ran the London Marathon this year, told me that she would be happy to run it with me...amazing. But then it was time for the family to go on holiday. I had all good intentions, took my trainers with me, but for two weeks did no running at all…however I did do A LOT of reading about having a positive state of mind! I then returned home and knew that I had two weeks to go – in that time I ran once! Part of my mind was wondering how I would do it, but the other part of me was saying ‘don’t be ridiculous…of course you can do it’.

As race day drew closer I simply kept telling myself I could do it, even when I took the dog for walks in the woods and felt my legs struggle when going up hills. I knew it would be difficult but I WOULD do it. Race day arrived. I did not sleep the night before but made sure I ate a good breakfast before. The family came to support me - it was really important to me that my children saw me doing it. So I have my number and I am standing with a lot of people who really do look like they know what they are doing but I didn’t let this intimidate me – we all have different goals – for some of them, including my very sporty friend Karen, she wanted to do it in sub 58 mins (I understood that to be proper running terminology!). My goal was simply to finish alive! So George and I found our starting spot and then the claxon sounded!

Within the first couple of minutes I was aware that this would be one of the most challenging things I had ever done. The incline just didn’t seem to stop. George told me that we could walk at any point but I knew that if I did that it would be so much more difficult to get started again so I kept on going. I didn’t speak…or rather I couldn’t speak. George did all the talking – she motivated me and she motivated others around us….she was my cheerleader and hero that day! To see the 1km marker was amazing, but we kept on climbing hills. In my mind it was about 4km before there was a decent flat! Oh and I must tell you that even though it was 9:30 on a Sunday morning, the sun was out and it was very hot. So very hot and very hilly!!!!

The flat came as some relief before I noticed another incline, but I kept on going and soon we were running downhill – much easier, much much easier but I knew that there was another hill around another corner and when it came my legs had lost the running power so I power walked, on George’s advice, to the top and then started running again. I was getting closer to the end, I couldn’t give up now. I started recognising parts of the course we had run at the beginning and knew that I was getting close to the finish. Through Arundel Castle gates (one of many amazing views on this run) and I was even closer to the end when George said ‘are you ready for your sprint finish?’. I am not sure where it came from but I found reserves I was not aware I had and as I turned the corner, heard the cheers of the crowd, saw Karen (who did finish in sub 58) I found a different gear and ran as fast as my little legs would take me to cross that line, be greeted by my family and receive my medal. The amazing George came in behind me. At this point my body was shaking and I had to sit down but I had done it. I had just done an incredibly difficult 10km race in one hour 20 minutes. To say I felt proud of myself was an understatement and to hear my children tell me they were proud of me was the icing on the cake.

The next couple of days I could hardly walk but I had achieved what I can only describe as one of the hardest physical challenges I had set myself. I obviously didn’t win but I didn’t come last and my kids were there to witness it and I put it all down to my continued positive state of mind. Not once did I really doubt my ability. So what next? Should I go for a half marathon!!!!!!!





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