The psychology of doubling.

6 months ago if you had asked me if I would be able to run a complete mile without stopping, I’d probably look at you with my head crooked and my brain thinking “what the hell are they talking about”. I have been a walker all of my life, but that is about the extent to my “physical activity” – growing up without a reliable source of transportation, I walked to school and everywhere else, but beyond that, I hardly did any physical activity – I half assed gym class, and could care less about creating any extra physical energy in my life.

When I started big bear (during my second attempt) a year and a half ago, the mile was so difficult for me. My time was close to 12 minutes (and remember this is going as fast as I could go). I improved my time by about a minute at the end of that, and at the end of April I got 7:50, which was a huge improvement!

Then, I ran a couple of races in the last month in a half, bettering my time each time, which didn’t feel possible, but happened. At the end of each of these 5k’s , I felt like I could go on no more, it was the end, with lungs burning, side stitches, sweat, and a feeling of accomplishment.

After my first 5k, a friend asked “want to do a half marathon in July”. Without a second thought, I had the same brainwave of “what the hell are they talking about … I just ran my first 5k, I am NOT prepared for a 5k”, and it was in a completely unbelieving way. Today, I know I still am not ready for it, but it is because I know I need to work on my pacing, my breathing, and some other things before I could be ready for such a feat – and maybe complete a 10k.

WELL, today I ran a 10k. Although my motivation has been low lately, my inspiration has not been – and I am finding constant sources to care about my body, my health, and my future. If you lack both, things can get pretty tough.

I ran the first 5k route I did twice. I felt as if I would know the course well enough, and it starts at my house, so I would know when I was halfway through this quest. I had my playlist ready by 11 and set out. I didn’t even know 24 hours ago that I was going to be running this 10k, I just felt like it was time to get out of my way and challenge myself. About halfway through mile #1, I was severly doubting my ability. My asthma was terrible with the humidity and the freshly cut grass. Breathing was difficult the ENTIRE 6.30 miles that I ran, but I tried my best, and when a burst of humidity broke my breath, I just started from the beginning of my breath and kept running. I stopped WAY more than I wanted to, but I knew I had 2 of these routes to do.

I ran it in 1:04:44 – my goal was under 1:00:00, but I am extremely happy to have gotten that. I put Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger” as the last song – because I hate it, and the goal was not having to listen to it during my run. I was 3 songs from it at the end!

I feel like I am ready to sign up for a 10k now. I want to do this at least 2 more times before the June 10th race.

It is crazy how our psychology can change in just 6 months – from not running a mile, to running 3 – 5ks to running a 10k, with doubt the entire way – it helps clear up the doubt a bit, and makes me realize, maybe I can do a half marathon, and someday even a marathon (maybe next summer haha). Ask anyone who knew me a year ago, if I was someone who could someday run a marathon, and even if they were being positive saying “he can do anything he puts his mind to”, they wouldn’t really believe it, and today, I believe I am someone who could do it. *gleam*

The psychology of doubling – it was difficult, I wanted to give up every mile, and I wanted to take shorter paths, walk the whole thing – but what I said in my last post about small achievable goals – I had a goal, and I would have been disappointed in myself if I didn’t accomplish it. We are amazing creatures, our ability to persevere are far beyond what we can even conceive. Who knows where the hell I will be in 1 year, I am excited to see the person I become, and I know I have to keep up challenging myself and caring, and then doubling becomes tripling and so on 🙂

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