Mind Games and Some Good Luck

Well, I’m officially tapering. The only thing is, I didn’t do a particularly long run over the weekend to taper down from. In fact, the last really LONG run I did was my 14 miler last Sunday. So I’ve technically been in somewhat of a taper since then, only logging 16 miles last week total. Is that enough? Am I going to survive my half marathon this weekend? Am I going to reach my goal? Should I just quit running and find a new hobby?

Ridiculous, I know. Mentally, I’m really hard on myself. I’m discouraging and doubtful and my own worst enemy 99% of the time. So when I set out for what was supposed to be a short, slow run Monday after work, I was already beating myself up when I started feeling tired. This was a 3 mile run, it should feel like a walk in the park. I was angry when it was over. I ran at 8:30Β pace, which is faster than my goal pace for my half this weekend, so I didn’t even run itΒ as slow as I wanted to. I was mad at myself for being tired and I was mad at myself for running too fast. I simply cannot win inside my own brain.

When I got back to my car, I opened the door and it felt like I was opening to door to an oven. So, I decided to look at my phone. 87 degrees. 75% humidity.


No wonder I was tired. I had also just been at work for 8 hours. And it was Monday. And I ate too much junk this weekend. I didn’t stretch. I didn’t drink enough water.Β Suddenly my mind started to process all of these other factors that were contributing to the way I felt in that moment. Then I saw this little guy on my steering wheel.

I have no idea how long he was trapped inside my sweltering car, but I felt like it was some sort of sign. Everything’s going to be okay. He was my little bit of “good luck” that I needed in that moment. I put him in a shady spot, drove home and got over myself. I’m going to be fine. It’s all going to be fine.


Are you ever too hard on yourself?

Do you find yourself playing mind games in the days leading up to a race?

About Maddie @ Dixie Runs

I'm Maddie. I'm a long time runner who has finally decided to start training for my first marathon. I do a lot of running with my 3 year old redbone coonhound, Dixie. This blog is about our running adventures and a whole lot more.
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34 Responses to Mind Games and Some Good Luck

  1. Cheryl says:

    I am always a mess before a race. I try and remind myself of the training I have done etc. I guess it is part of the process–that’s the adrenaline that gives us the boost during the race. Good luck in your half!

  2. I’m always way too hard on myself. I do the exact same things you’ve said above – I beat myself up, I worry about whether I’ve done enough work and I basically just freak out.

    You are going to great, though! You trained very hard, did the work and it will pay off! You didn’t need to run a long run this weekend – that 14-miler the weekend before was plenty!!! I can’t wait to hear how your race goes because I know you’re going to kill it! Stay positive this week and trust your training. Plus, I speak from experience here, all of the runs this week are going to be crappy. At least they always are for me right before a race. Don’t worry about it!

    • Maddie says:

      You have no idea how happy you’ve just made me! Sometimes I just need to hear it from someone else in order to believe it myself.

  3. All those thoughts are the same ones I’ve been having this week! It got really hot all of a sudden, and I really struggled through my 10 miler. I have my half marathon in a few weeks and it really freaked me out that I could barely finish a 10 mile jog. Then I realized it was my first time running in temperatures over 50 degrees (it was 78) and I need to just chill! You and I are both going to great in our races…we just need to have a little faith in our training! Good luck!

    • Maddie says:

      I’m glad I’m not the only one struggling with this heat! Right now the forecast is high of 82 and 60% chance of thunderstorms for my race Sunday, so I’m hoping it will at least be cloudy and somewhat cool during the race.

  4. The minds games always hit me right before. TRUST. YOUR. TRAINING. PERIOD.
    That is all. You will be fab.

  5. I’m a perfectionist, so I’m no stranger to the doubts. Everyone worries before a race. It’s normal. There’s really nothing anyone can say to make it go away, you just gotta ride it out and try to trust that your body and training will come through for you on race day. Something I always remember is something a yoga instructor once said during a hard yoga pose (and I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve even gone to yoga): “Your mind will give up before your body does.” It reminds me that my body is strong and will come through for me; all the doubts are just in my head.

    Sometimes I have to give myself a little perspective check, too. When I’m really stressed about a race I just ask myself, what’s the worst that could happen? It’s not the end of the world if I miss a goal time or even if I can’t finish the race. If I can survive the grueling demands distance running puts on my body I can survive some short-lived disappointment at the finish line. I can do hard things.

    BUT, this won’t even apply to you because you WILL do great! Based on your training an 8:30 will be a cake walk for you! πŸ™‚

    • Maddie says:

      Random, but are you a Virgo? I’m a super perfectionist Virgo and I like to tell people I’m a Virgo because I feel like it’s an excuse..

      ANYWAY, I love that quote.. I’m going to remember that around mile 10 when my mind is giving up πŸ™‚ Thanks for bringing me back down to earth as always! I mean really, what is the WORST that could happen?

  6. The taper crazies are real. Hang in there! You’ll feel so great when you get to the start line this weekend!

  7. I love when little signs like that lady bug show up. Kind of a way for the world telling you to slow down, and that it’ll all be ok. Which it will. I know you’re going to do awesome at your race! you’re going to surprise yourself. and become even more addicted to running πŸ˜‰ it’s your first half also, don’t be so hard on yourself.!
    You’ve got this girl.!!

  8. Sounds like a totally normal taper to me! I have to tell myself over and over to trust my training and trust the taper (even if I know my training was lacking!) – you’re going to rock this race!

  9. Aww I love your little good luck charm. Sweet of you to put him in the shade!

    This weather has been killer. I’ve been wiped out since my run on Sunday. I think the sun just totally zapped me of a week’s worth of energy! Enjoy your taper and save up YOUR energy so you can rock out at the race!

    • Maddie says:

      I don’t know how you do it… A few months ago I was super jealous of your sunny beach runs and I hate to say that I’m not so jealous anymore πŸ™‚

  10. GiGi Eats says:

    I used to ALWAYS be really hard on myself, but I don’t see myself as a hard core perfectionist any more so I am totally A-OK with me these days, no more hard on myself. Life isn’t perfect. No one is perfect and EVERYTHING is going to work out in the end! πŸ™‚

  11. Kerry says:

    Oh man, I had a bad case of the taper crazies before my first half. I had a weird ache in my quad and was convinced that I had a femoral stress fracture. I was really going insane. Try not to be too hard on yourself! You’re gonna do great. Remember, no matter what, you are setting a PR. However, I have a feeling you’re gonna rock out!

  12. Suzy says:

    Awe, she’s a cutie! If that were to happen to me, the bug would be poisonous or something and my face would swell and I’d stop breathing. K but seriously, the week before a race is one giant brain-fack. Your runs will all suck, all these phantom injuries will pop up, and your stomach will feel “off.” It’s just the nature of the taper. It blows. If you need to, go back and look at your training log and remind yourself how much you’ve put in, and tell your brain to eff right off.

  13. I would definitely take that as a sign! That little guy is too cute. You’ve done the training and you’re gonna rock the race!

  14. I think we are all a little too hard on ourselves. No worries everything always works out on race day!

  15. Jamie says:

    I NEVER trust my training which is like the worst thing ever. Mentally I’m like welp, I haven’t run XX miles in X weeks therefore, I will not be able to finish this marathon. Ha. I think runners are naturally hard on ourselves because we are the ones pushing ourselves on a run to get better. Trust your training and I know you’ll be doing great! The tired feeling now is going to turn to pure race day energy and excitement. Enjoy those nerves! They’re a good thing! You’re going to kill it girl!

    • Maddie says:

      I have the same thoughts.. I’m so bad about over analyzing. I get hung up on a run I missed 5 weeks ago. I’m crazy!!

  16. Karen says:

    What a cute little good luck charm. At least it was a short run you ran speedy. Your legs will recover quick πŸ™‚ Trust in all the hard work you did ! You did a great long run and yes 16 miles is fine. Tell yourself how powerful and rested you will feel easing down the mileage.
    I have felt the same way, I bet a lot runners do, but race day will better for it.

  17. Charissa says:

    Those mind games are especially present in the days leading up to a race. I’m experiencing it right now too (though not so much due to taper madness as just plain race nerves). Everything will be ok! I’m glad you found the lucky ladybug to brighten your day πŸ˜€

  18. The hay is in the barn! (Your training is done…you’re ready!) Enjoy your taper. Your legs will thank you!

  19. I am definitely too hard on myself all the time! And I have to do the same thing- stop and keep things in perspective. You will definitely be fine! I am really excited to hear about how your race goes:)

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