Ultra Week 2 – voices

August seems so far away, so I have set lots of mini goals in between to make sure I do the miles. This weekend was the Brazilian Butterfly Queen of the Lake. Ten kms around oh-so-windy Albert Park Lake!

My last competitive 10k, the Emma and Tom’s Christmas Run, saw me PB with a 52.10 min time, placing a commendable 10th in my category (old chooks  ; )   female, 40-49 ). I had never clocked a sub-60 min 10k time in a competitive run before, so I was over the moon at those results from December 2012. And then worried that I may never repeat it!

Leading up to this weekend’s run I was in two minds as to whether I proclaim a time goal or not to the world. As soon as you put it out there, then not only are you accountable, but like it or not (inadvertently or not), some folks judge and compare, and then I start to second guess myself. My heart was eager to try to emulate my 52 min results – wanted to prove to myself that it wasn’t a fluke, that I didn’t need all the stars aligning to see the same outcome; but that sub-55 min 10kms are just something that I do.

Then THAT VOICE started speaking in my ear: hardly anyone knows you are doing the 10k anyway. You are already training for an ultra, why do you need to push yourself? Who do you need to prove anything to? The struggle between good and evilWow – that last one! How many of us runners, or anyone else, have heard themselves say that?? Don’t you just wish the OTHER VOICE put on the boxing gloves and KO’ed THAT guy for you??

There I was – hitting the 6-7km marker, a point where I planned to push the clicks up a bit. The legs are saying ‘why?‘, the breath is coming a little faster, others seem to be running nearby so smoothly, gracefully, and I am sure I look like a bouncing tomato. These thoughts are not uncommon in my competitive or long runs.

It is at those moments when I tell myself off; and think about how much worse I will feel if I quit, give up on my goal, and just take it easy. But that would be so much harder to deal with than any disappointment I may feel in missing a goal time by a few seconds or minutes if giving it my all.

I wonder what my face and body language looks like at that time during a run? I wonder if my brow furrows , jaw and fists clench just a little and eyes gleam? I do know that at the precise moment I make the decision to swat down the negative voices that plague me – I feel stronger.

My time was 51.16.

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