I think I need to declare this my summer to work on mental toughness.
It’s been clear to me in my past 3 (!!) races that I have some work to do in this area. In a local 5k, the NJ Half and the Newport 10k, I struggled in the final mile, and then managed to pull out a fast finish somehow.
The struggle feels very physical in the moment, but then it turns out my body does have more to give when I see the finish line, and I’m realizing how mental that piece is for me.
I shared a few weeks ago some of my favorite mental toughness takeaways from a few books and podcasts I’ve listened to.
Recently, I added another one to the mix. I highly recommend the podcast Tina Muir did with Bhrett McCabe. As she says, there is so much gold in there!
I took lots of notes and will probably need to go back and listen to it a few more times before it all sinks in, but this was one of my favorite quotes:
Adrenaline and anxiety feel the exact same in the body. The only difference is in how we interpret it.
When we interpret it as fear, it becomes anxiety. When we interpret it as excitement, it’s adrenaline. – Bhrett McCabe
Powerful, right? I know I often line up on the race line with a little (or a lot) of anxiety. The thought that the only difference is in how we interpret it gives me a lot of hope. I don’t have to force myself to feel differently- I can feel what I feel and tell myself how excited I am to have the chance to race!
Smiling, staying positive about how much fun it is to race and removing pace expectations can go a long way to make a more enjoyable racing experience. I’m working on that.
The next step is to better embrace the discomfort in that last mile and stick it out, rather than fading and giving up!
What is your weak spot in a race?
Are you nervous or excited at the start? Have you considered the relationship between anxiety and adrenaline before?