I didn’t have confidence in my running for the first 28 years of my life. One of my racing “secrets to success” is that I’m at a point in my life where I truly believe “I’m fast” and “I work harder than most of the people out there”. It’s completely different than the way I used to feel.
I can pinpoint a few things from my past that made me think I wasn’t fast:
First, every year my siblings and I would enter a short (maybe 100 meter) race against all the other kids at my mom’s huge work picnic. My 3 siblings would almost always win. I finished mid-pack at best EVERY SINGLE YEAR. It made me feel slow, like I didn’t have the “family talent”.
Second, when I was going into my freshman year in high school, I raced a summer 5k. I had been training every day all summer. My sister was going into the 5th grade and never trained. She beat me! Ouch…
Even with some success in high school and college, I always thought I was the “slow one in the family”. I stuck myself with a label and it was self-fulfilling.
The turn around happened when I was pregnant with my daughter. I started to think about what I wanted her to think of women, of me, and of herself. I got the urge to forget about labels and failure and try to do something great. When she was 5 months old, I entered my first post-pregnancy race. I had a 5k PR. Every time I raced, I improved. That fall, when she was 8 months old, I had a 23 minute marathon PR.
These days, every time I race, I am excited. I still get nervous, and even a little scared of my competitors, but I turn it into fuel for the fire instead of crippling fear. I love it!