Hey, That’s My Friend You’re Talking About

After three off weeks in a row, I FINALLY got in a long run this morning. A good one, too! I’m pleased with my pace, my body cooperated, and I got the dang thing done as planned. Not a whole lot has changed recently. It’s still a million degrees. I’m still up to my eyeballs in boxes from the move. Work is still…work. So what was different this week that resulted in a strong 15 miles instead of crying in public after 6 miles (or 3….or 2…) and being an overall trainwreck like past weeks?

I was nice to myself today. Really nice.

While most parts of the internet these days are depressingly negative cesspools, there’s one little corner that brings me immense joy. I’m part of an online running support group, and it’s filled with the kindest, strongest women alive. Whether it’s a slow recovery mile after an injury or a PR in an ultramarathon, these women are each other’s biggest cheerleaders. Everyone needs a hype team like this.

Last Saturday, a woman shared that she had “bonked” on a run due to the heat and she was feeling really down. I reminded her that she gained an incredible amount of mental toughness by showing up in the heat, so be kind to herself. The next day when I was crying in my car after another failed run, she reached out and said my exact words back to me.

Why is it that we can see things so clearly with other people, but it’s nearly impossible to see it with ourselves? I’d never tell a friend she was a failure for stopping midrun on a 90 degree day, or that she should just quit now because she’ll never be fast enough.

That toxic inner voice can be a real bitch, and one of my life goals is to learn how to silence her once and for all.

Today I ran with a new approach: when I start feeling down, give myself the pep talk I’d give a friend. And you know what? It totally worked. As I ran I told myself, “You’re strong. You’ve got this. You’ve done this before. You can do it again. You have this in you.” It seems so trite and silly, but it pushed me to finish all 15 miles when a week ago I quit at less than half that distance.

The world is negative enough without us making things worse for ourselves. Be kind to yourself. More than kind, even — be your own biggest hype [wo]man. You’re amazing! Own your strengths and propel that into even stronger achievements. And if you doubt yourself for even a moment, let me know and I can get you in touch with pretty badass group of ladies who will pick you right back up.

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