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Pushing the Doubts Out

by Meghann on September 21, 2011

Feeling stressed? Take a spin class. It’s amazing for putting your foot to the pedal and just letting everything all out.


My nerves have been all out of whack this week. The stress of the half ironman on Sunday is starting to get to me and I feel like my stomach is just one big knot of nerves. Instead of doubting myself, I’m trying to refocus all of that energy into ‘Yes! I can do this!’, but I’m not doing a great job at it.

Reading other bloggers’ 70.3 recaps (who all had roughly the same time goals as I do) has been helpful. I have a whole window opened with my favorites in separate tabs and – whenever I begin to doubt myself – I read their amazing recaps and become inspired all over again.

If those stories don’t inspire you, then I don’t know what will.

I thought of all those ladies when I hopped on the bike this morning. I focused on their successes and pushed all the negative energy out with each pedal stroke. I started out feeling awesome, a little too awesome. This was where I remembered I’m in taper mode and took it down a notch so I wouldn’t blow my legs.

After class I spoke with the instructor (who is also racing Augusta this weekend) and chatted about training logistics. This will be his 5th 70.3 distance, but he told me he had only signed up a couple of weeks prior to his first with a couple of friends and basically walked the whole run. He said if he could finish that race, then I could finish Augusta. That made me smile. πŸ™‚

After spin I pimped out a big bowl of cantaloupe for breakfast.


Unfortunately, the cantaloupe was a little bland, but the toppings more than made up for it. A little ricotta, honey peanut butter, and Kashi Go Lean Crisp gave the cantaloupe all the extra flavor it needed.



Do you have any rituals for when ever you start doubting you abilities? Reading race recaps inspire me, but also getting out there and staying active helps too!

1 michelle September 21, 2011 at 9:56 am

I listen to music and visualize myself kicking butt

2 Krissy @ Shiawase Life September 21, 2011 at 9:57 am

I like your coping mechanism ideas πŸ™‚

Whenever I feel down, I think of how far I have come!
Krissy @ Shiawase Life recently posted..This makes me want to go and run another one, like – NOW.

3 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen September 21, 2011 at 9:58 am

You’re going to kick butt Meghann! Think of all the other goals you’ve set before with running and accomplished. You’ve got this πŸ™‚
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4 Ashley O. @ The Vegetable Life September 21, 2011 at 10:00 am

I ran my first half marathon this past august and the week of the race I seriously doubted if I could do it. I even thought about changing my goals so that I would not be let down. But I did it and I blew my original goal out of the water!!!! You will ROCK this!

5 kristen (inspiredbydooce) September 21, 2011 at 10:01 am

When I start doubting my abilities I look at my training schedule. I look at the workouts and think – hey, I DID all of that. Then I read other people’s race reports and see what kind of tricks they’ve played on themselves to convince themselves that they can go on when the going got tough.

As Heather’s sister (from the 70.3 recap)- I found her race inspiring as well. I was so proud of her for pushing through that race!

You can do it Meghann! You’ve trained and you’ve prepared. It will be hard, but you can do it! And make sure you smile along the way!
kristen (inspiredbydooce) recently posted..wordless wednesday- cafe saint henri

6 meghan September 21, 2011 at 10:01 am

I love love spin. It’s amazing. I have 60 minutes cardio on the plan for Friday, and I’m thinking about doing spin. πŸ™‚

You’re going to be fabulous in Augusta! Have you read Shut Up and Run? She just did her first half ironman a couple months ago. And then Sweat Once a Day just did a full Ironman this summer.
meghan recently posted..WILW: So much!

7 Meghann September 21, 2011 at 10:03 am

I read Sweat Once a Day’s Ironman recap! She’s great and a BIG inspiration, but one goal at a time. πŸ˜‰ I’ll have to check out Shut Up and Run! Thanks!

8 meghan September 21, 2011 at 10:13 am

oh my gosh. your goal of a half ironman is so inspirational and motivational. i was just giving you some other blogs that i’ve read recently that might add more to your reads.

i know i’ve been reading marathon and half marathon recaps to pump myself up for my half next weekend. i’m so excited, and i actually start to tear up when i think about crossing that finish line for the first time. i just hope i don’t turn into a blubbering mess at the end. one day i’ll tackle a full, but for now the stories provide enough inspiration to push me through my half!

Thanks Meghann!
meghan recently posted..WILW: So much!

9 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat September 21, 2011 at 10:02 am

I KNOW you can do it Meghann! When I’m nervous or doubting myself, I usually try to do activities that I know I’m good at, and you just hit one of them – spinning! I love the endorphin rush it gives me, and unless you’re using a bike with a meter, there’s no real way to show how far you’ve gone, so I just tune in to how my body feels as opposed to a number on a screen. You’ll be amazing, don’t worry!
Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat recently posted..Recap: Try Something New Tuesday 75

10 Ali @ Ali Runs September 21, 2011 at 10:08 am

Awesome post Meghann! It definitely helps to read race recaps of people who have accomplished the same goal you did. Prior to completing my first marathon, I was obsessive in reading other people’s marathon race recaps. It helped calm my nerves because you begin to know what to expect and when to expect it.

Good luck on the race. You’ve trained hard and will do amazing!
Ali @ Ali Runs recently posted..Tuesday Blues and Race Talk

11 Vegan Ali September 21, 2011 at 10:15 am

You’ll be amazing! Tapers make us all crazy–don’t let the nerves get in the way. Visualize success, and you will succeed. Thanks for mentioning my recap–can’t wait to read yours!
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12 mary September 21, 2011 at 10:16 am

You’re going to do SO well this weekend!! I can’t wait to read your recap! and kelly’s and ben’s too πŸ™‚
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13 Cait's Plate September 21, 2011 at 10:26 am

I don’t have any standard go-tos. Usually just putting on music that can pump me up – but I love the idea of reading race recaps!
Cait’s Plate recently posted..Stay In Bed Kinda Day

14 Corey @ Learning Patience September 21, 2011 at 10:28 am

First, Im sure you are going to rock it! I try not to focus on the actual race, mileage, etc… I just think about how prepared I am and how much fun I’m going to have. I like to see other people do it and I always say to myself – if that girl/guy in front of me can do it — SO can I! πŸ™‚
xoxo fro Trinidad
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15 Biz September 21, 2011 at 10:32 am

You’ve got this Meghann – you’ve done the training, and because this is your first Ironman it will already be your PR!
Biz recently posted..Your old, busted name was Biz. We now dub yo ass:

16 Britt @ runwithbritt September 21, 2011 at 10:35 am

I can’t wait to check out those other blogs as well! You are totally going to rock it this weekend, I can’t wait to read your race recap!
I always use visualization techniques. I took a psychology of sport class last spring and imaging yourself being successful with tons of imagery and vivid details is proven to aid performance. My professor said the key is sensory details like smells, sights, the sound of the crowd, etc helps the best!

17 Cat @Breakfast to Bed September 21, 2011 at 10:47 am

I love to walk or run by the bay. It centers me. I leave the ipod at home and just listen to the surf. It makes everything melt away.

18 Sana September 21, 2011 at 10:52 am

You will be with your siblings and you will have a blast with them πŸ™‚
Sana recently posted..Parking is the Hardest Part of College

19 Lauren @ Ultra Lauren September 21, 2011 at 10:52 am

You are prepared, you are brave, you are going to crush it!
Lauren @ Ultra Lauren recently posted..Change-up

20 Rae September 21, 2011 at 10:59 am

I try to step away form things and do something that calms me, like reading or doing yoga. Trying to do that today….I have a big race on Saturday!!! Good luck on your HIM and try to let go of any time goals for your first….finishing is HUGE!
Rae recently posted..Hide and Seek

21 Meghann September 21, 2011 at 11:04 am

Thanks for the advice and good luck on your race too!!!

22 Caitlin September 21, 2011 at 11:00 am

You are really going to do just fine. You have the training and the heart. You’ll pull through!
Caitlin recently posted..Coaching Win and DVR Fail

23 Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter) September 21, 2011 at 11:02 am

My cures for self doubt = exercise (including yoga!), researching into whatever it is that I’m about to do that I’m scared of, talking to people I love/who love me, and reading inspirational quotes.. does the trick. πŸ™‚

24 Meghann September 21, 2011 at 11:05 am

I’ve been doing the ‘talking to people who I love/ love me’ approach and that does help. πŸ™‚

25 Anne September 21, 2011 at 11:05 am

i starred this one to come back to in a few weeks when i’m sure to be freaking out about my first HIM (beach2battleship). trust your training and you’ll crush it, I’m sure of it!

26 Hope September 21, 2011 at 11:17 am

You’re doing great! Just keep thinking positive and I’m sure you will do a great job! πŸ™‚
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27 Taylor @ Crumbs Don't Count September 21, 2011 at 11:19 am

It is always so helpful when people tell you their stories and tell you that “if they can finish, you can finish”…for example, the instructor telling you he walked the whole run. I think it helps to know that people who prepared way less than you did are signed up, so if they can finish…so can you!
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28 Megan @ Life As Megan Knows it September 21, 2011 at 11:25 am

Reading other people’s blogs whjo are stronger than me helps me!
Megan @ Life As Megan Knows it recently posted..The new rules of lifting for women

29 Nicole @ PancakesandPilates September 21, 2011 at 11:35 am

Great post. When I have some time I’m definitively going to check those stories.
I love spin class for peddling the cares away.

For a confidence boost I’m all for flat out telling your loved ones you need some love. That, and going to a happy place in your mind where you feel awesome. Then I try my hardest to hang on to that happy place/feeling while pushing through.
Nicole @ PancakesandPilates recently posted..Go to Your Happy Place

30 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife September 21, 2011 at 12:11 pm

SPIN is a great way to let those endorphins goooo… is teaching BodyPUMP. Love, love my job πŸ™‚

You’ll do GREAT this weekend!

31 Briana September 21, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Just to let you know, I’ve been reading your blog for a year (my first post was your 20 mile run with Kelly when you were training for Chicago) and while I am a “silent reader” since I don’t comment all that much, you have definitely inspired me to push it and sign up for a 70.3 next year. So, thank you!! I know you’ll do great on Sunday.
Briana recently posted..Return of the Blogger

32 Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food September 21, 2011 at 12:18 pm

What a great way to help push the doubts out!

If you want another story of pushing through a tough Half Iron: I did an off road half iron for my first triathlon ever and was just a smidge less than prepared. Although I had run I a marathon, I had never mountain biked or trail run before, was using my dad’s old HEAVY mountain bike with no shocks, and had never biked over 45 miles.

The swim went well and then after a few miles on my bike I was having a really hard time keeping up with my buddy. I told her to go ahead and kept pushing. Turned out I had a flat back tire. I had never changed/repaired a tire before so I sat to the side of the trail and took 2 1/1 hours to figure it out.

I eventually got back on my bike and finished the bike portion. At the transition my parents were in tears because they thought I was lost in the woods! I was a little delirious on the run portion because I was so tired and thought there were snakes everywhere! I finished in the dark thinking I was dead last. Turned out I was third female!

Two lessons that I learned – be more prepared – which you clearly are and NEVER GIVE UP! πŸ˜€
Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food recently posted..Recipe for Ridiculousness

33 Meghann September 21, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Thanks Jenny πŸ™‚ I’ve never truly ‘mountain biked,’so for that – you are a rock star. πŸ™‚

34 Yolie @ Practising Wellness September 21, 2011 at 12:18 pm

I love listening to the Sunscreen song – for some reason that always inspires me “do one thing, each day, that scares you”…it gives me courage and faith! πŸ™‚ And I also love reading relevant blogs – they always inspire me too! preparation, preparation, preparation always helps – then the fear and nerves are normal, but you kind of have a safe feeling that you’ve done your best πŸ™‚ xyx
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35 Ericka September 21, 2011 at 12:19 pm

I keep putting spin off but this is a reminder that I have to stop doing that. I’m such a gym rat but have always been averse to spinning — for not particular reason. I did a class recently and it was amazing so I think it’s time to get back on it!

As for abilities…I’d say watching an inspirational movie like “Rudy” or listening to a motivating song like, “Suddenly I See” by KT Tunstall (that one always does it for me!) really helps pump me back up.
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36 Emily September 21, 2011 at 12:33 pm

I ran my first half marathon a few weeks ago. I was a huge bundle of nerves leading up to the race and reading race recaps (including yours!) was a huge help. Keep getting inspired and know that you’re inspiring people too! Can’t wait to hear about the race – know you’ll rock it πŸ™‚
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37 Jessica @ Sushi and Sit-Ups September 21, 2011 at 12:37 pm

You’re going to do awesome! I can’t wait for when other people will be reading your recap for motivation. I love that you’ve been putting ricotta on everything lately. I love the stuff but only eat it with pasta.
Jessica @ Sushi and Sit-Ups recently posted..Workout tunes

38 Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio September 21, 2011 at 12:45 pm

I love, love, love spin!!!! LOVE
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39 Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun September 21, 2011 at 1:08 pm

I adore spin!!! I had such a great class this morning and it reset my workout mojo so well. I usually just need one good workout to get past my workout doubts. Although I’m not tackling any iron mans. LOL
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40 Tami September 21, 2011 at 1:24 pm

I have 2 half iron mans under my belt (last one was last weekend).


Get the self doubt out of your mind now you don’t want it to come creeping back in the middle of your swim….

Take one thing at a time

Don’t go out too hard on the bike, you need stuff left in your legs for the run

You can do it

41 gia September 21, 2011 at 2:08 pm

I like to think logistically.. like “what is really upsetting me?” Then “what can I do about it?” If I were you I would be thinking of plan B and plan C, like if the first leg totally wipes you out, how can you regenerate?.. maybe take the second leg really easily.. and then the third one easy too, or maybe go a little harder at the end once you gain back your momentum. There won’t be any escaping it, but this is for You and your Health (including challenging yourself), so keep that in mind too, this is for no one else but you and your goals. Good luck! I’ve only done a 5 miler as my only race, every year, it’s called the Women’s run, all women, love it! I would love to do more, but we are in Alaska so we don’t have many runs.. instead I mix it up with the gym and even jogging in the cold in all kinds of layers can be silly and fun, it gets so dark here no one can see me, so I wear my puffy coat and wool socks over my thermals, and a scarf over my face and giggle as I jog- at how funny I look. It’s a great mood booster! πŸ™‚

42 Ari @ Ari's Menu September 21, 2011 at 2:28 pm

I think you have the exact right attitude! I can only imagine how nervous I would be, but staying positive and letting it out on the bike sounds like the perfect way to keep your spirits high. Spin is probably my very favorite type of work out. It is easy on my body in the right ways and so challenging in the ways that are good for me! Sending you lots of positive energy for this weekend. Remember there are a whole lot of people that believe you can do this (even if you doubt yourself for a second) and are inspired by your dedication and commitment! πŸ™‚
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43 Meghann September 21, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Thanks Ari πŸ™‚

44 Hillary September 21, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Usually when I start doubting myself, I just force myself to accept that even the worst case scenario won’t be THAT bad. I was freaking out before my first half marathon, and I remember telling myself it was ok to walk. I also kept reminding myself that I had put in the time and the training hours for a reason. Remind yourself of the same thing: you have worked SO HARD for this!
Hillary recently posted..A Successful Sunday

45 Mary September 21, 2011 at 5:24 pm

I have been reading race recaps (including yours!) to prepare for my first half marathon this Saturday. I think it has been helping. You are such an inspiration, and I know you’re going to rock out that HIM!!!

46 Meghann September 21, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Good luck on your first half!!

47 Katie @ Peace Love and Oats September 21, 2011 at 6:54 pm

listening to music and tuning out all my negative thoughts is what helps me! Especially during finals…
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48 Cheryl September 21, 2011 at 9:32 pm

First things first, I think you’re going to enjoy this race if you decide that it’s something you’re doing for the fun of it and for the accomplishment! Remind yourself that the training is done and that now all you have to do is get out there and run your race–it’s time for the fun and rewarding part!

I find it helpful to use all of the worrying energy to come up with a race plan. Know what you’re going to do the morning of — what’s for breakfast? what time will you get there? what will you do if you forget something? what if it rains? what if you get a flat tire? what if your goggles fall off during the swim? what if you get a cramp when you’re running? — all of these things that, if you don’t prepare, could catch you off guard and leave you feeling devastated but that really, if you look at them ahead of time and have a game plan, aren’t so big of a problem (i.e. you learned how to change a tire so you’re good if that happens, if you lose your goggles,your swim might slow down but does that mean your race is over? if you get a cramp, walking for a minute or two really won’t be the end of the world) and feeling in control really boosts your confidence! I think it’s also important to come up with a plan for when you want to quit (because a half ironman is DEFINITELY long enough to be certain you’ll have a ‘why am i doing this’ moment) — I’d remind yourself of all the training you’ve done, of the feeling of accomplishment you’ll have when you’re done, and of whatever else it is that drove you to enter the race in the first place!


49 Dina @ DinaRuns September 22, 2011 at 12:32 pm

I’m doing my first 15K on Saturday and actually looked up past years times to convince myself I won’t be last. It actually made me feel better.

You will do great! Have fun and enjoy your hard work paying off.
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50 natalie @ southern fit foodie September 22, 2011 at 3:20 pm

You will do great!!!

I just make myself get started, and usually those endorphins kick in and I remind myself how much I really can do! I give myself some harsh pep-talks (SUCK IT UP! YOU CAN GO HARDER THAN THAT! REMEMBER THOSE GOALS YOU HAVE??? DO YOU REALLY WANT THEM???). It works for me!

51 Sophie September 26, 2011 at 4:23 pm

I am yet t read your recap (sorry – catching up!) but those stories make me want to do a HIM even though I can’t run further than about 3 miles at the mo!
Sophie recently posted..Chandaliers & Fire Places.

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