On Sunday we dropped Spud with friends for an early morning playdate and then headed to the store for our group 16km run. I don't run with Colin due to obvious speed discrepancy issues. I've tried to be pretty consistent and keep with the same long run group each week. I found early on that I can keep up with the 4 hour marathon group which runs a 6:22 - 7:11/km (10:15 - 11:33/mi). I always find that the first 5 kilometres or so are my worst so I wasn't too worried that I was on the slow end of the pace. As the run went on I settled in nicely with a few other ladies. The route was a long rolling out and back up to the watershed (had to touch the fence!). I ran so I could talk and had a good run. The second half was great! I think we finished at about a 6:55/km pace (and that was with doing 20 + 1s).
I know my problem with this run. My brain. It keeps telling me that it was a fluke. That I didn't really belong. That the people I ran with are SO MUCH faster than me. Intimidated, much? It's like I have a sign on my forehead that says "Not Good Enough", but only I can see it. I shouldn't be competing against anyone but myself. And not even against myself on a long run.
And then there was today's run. I went out with my friend Lindsay with whom I run once a week. Because she brought a friend along I ran an extra 2-1/2km each way to meet up in a convenient spot. It actually worked out well that I had a long run today (17km) since I wasn't going to be able to do my 10km run tomorrow due to another running partner being out of town. So I rolled two tempo runs into a long steady run with Spud. I figure that the weight cancels out the speed of the others and I'll come out even. Anyways, once we met up we ran out along a trail for 40 minutes, turned around, I ran a little extra so Spud could go over a bridge and back (never promise a 3 year old anything), and then I ran home. All told I was out for over 2 hours. I'm not fast when I have the stroller and I walked up all the hills that were even remotely steep. The weather was decent - a drizzle that was more like mist - and the company was good.
I know my problem with this run. My brain. It keeps telling me that I'm slow. HELLO?!? I was pushing 60+lbs of stroller and kid. Anybody would be slow. And really, an 8:11/km with walking up hills and stopping to attend to the whims of a toddler isn't shabby.
So where do I go from here? I obviously know what my problem is. I just don't quite know how to fix it. There's no easy off switch for this. I can't keep comparing myself to other runners. Especially ones that aren't really faster than me. And I can't keep telling myself that I'm slow. A middle-of-the-pack runner, yes. Slow, not so much anymore.
I think I'd really benefit from reading about positive self-talk. I read a book a while ago that touched on it, but I don't remember too much (and it was relatively old). Do any of you have suggestions for