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The Doubt Beeyotch

The Doubt Beeyotch?  Oh yes. She exists.

She is the little voice that starts running her stupid, little shrill voice almost immediately when you set out on a goal… on a hard workout… a new race/distance/training regime.

She’s that not-so-nice murmuring in your brain when you are training for a race, and you think, “Oh $%#^! What have I done?!?”

Sign up for something big and scary… lace up those shoes for the longest run of your life …pull the bike out and get ready for a big ride?

Oh yah… that’s when the Doubt Beeyotch shows up.

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Here are some ways to shut her trifling little mouth.

1) Realize that the Beeyotch is really in YOUR head.  Shut her down.

That little voice speaks not the truth.  She is a lie.  Fear is a liar. Doubt is a liar.  The problem arises when we allow the Beeyotch to talk to us…and when we start to listen.

Shut the door on her voice. Do not let her in. Do whatever you have to do, but don’t hear the words she says.

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2) Your Mind is Your Biggest Muscle.

What? I thought it was my glutes!?

Well, maybe.  But the mind is the most powerful muscle we have that isn’t our glutes (?).  Hey, I’m no doctor here. Bear with me.

I just had a conversation with one of my athletes setting out for her first 70.3 this summer.  The Doubt Beeyotch is stuck in her head, and I am working with her to wrestle her out. Talking with her is so funny, because it’s like deja vu for me–I have had these same conversations with my coach–more so in the beginning, but I have had them more times than I an count.  So  I wrote to her some of the same wisdoms that have been shared with me…

The mind is the powerful muscle we have, and we must use it to our advantage.  The body will follow. It will do what the mind says it can. Now repeat: I. Can. Do. This.

I ran 11 miles on the treadmill this morning.  And it was glorious. And I did it before work.  And yes, I woke up at 4:30 to do it.

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“Oh, my gawd. I could never run for 11 miles on a treadmill, Meredith!!!”

What? Why?  Why “couldn’t” you?  Because it’s boring? Because it hurts? Because it’s boring and it hurts!?

Buttercup! No! Don’t tell me that.

I had the hands down hardest trainer ride of my life yesterday.  It was only two hours, but Coach Brett put the hammer down on me with a power workout.  I swear I was riding like I stole something for two straight hours.  I went through three shirts and three towels.  I had an inch of salt crusted on my body.

Yes, I am in the full throes of “build” for Ironman 70.3 Florida in a few weeks (thank you Coach Brett, thank you… lawd) – everything hurts.  So what. I. Love. It.

“Oh, my lawd.  You rode for TWO/FOUR/FIVE HOURS on the bike trainer?? I could NEVER do that. I would DIE!”

What? Why? (Yes, the Queen might die, but we aren’t talking about her right now. For once.)  Yes, it’s boring! Yes, it hurts!  And yes, it’s AMAZING when you do something that is so boring and hurts!

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It’s an amazing exercise in mental preparation! I love the treadmill.  If I can run 11 miles on the “dreadmill”—then I know I can run 13.1 on race day, with the energy, the crowd, and the fun.  I love the bike trainer.  If I can sit the Queen on a seat to nowhere for hours, then I know I can survive race day.

(Read this post about sucking up the boredom.)

It’s mental training. And I know that some of you are already on the same page as me.  You know that it’s hard–and that’s why we do this! To show ourselves what we are made of!

You can shut that Beeyotch up very quickly with some long, boring treadmill/trainer workouts.  Because she can’t say much when you are running to nowhere—and you LIKE it!

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3) Train Your Mind.

If the mind is the biggest muscle, then we must take time to work on it.

Take a few moments each day to talk to yourself.

Say nice things to YOU.

Say, “I can do this.”  Say, “I am getting stronger each and every single day.”  Focus on your goals.  Envision the finish line.  Celebrate your finish in your mind—long before you even hit the starting line. It will pay dividends on race day.

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The Expert wears SBM gear. Those are NOT my hairy legs.

4) Believe.

I talk about the Four Rules of Triathlon.  Really, there are only four.  I swear it.

In order to become better people (and triathletes) we must take risks, we must believe in ourselves, and we must (you got it) move forward.  We must must must.  If we doubt ourselves, we are dead in the water (and might as well just take up fishing from the shore in our respective motorized Rascals).

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I can attest to the value and the importance of taking a leap of faith, signing up for huge, crazy races —and starting to focus on those goals. Then putting in the hours (the many, many hours of work). And never giving up.  Not until the goal is reached.

And that’s all you need to do. Truly.  But it’s the combination of those things that makes the magic.

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So proud of SBM Army members… it’s race season everyone! We’re out there representing!

In my book, I talk about Four Rules for the Every Woman who is embarking on triathlon.

But these rules apply to anyone with a goal.

Rule #1
Believe in Yourself.

Rule #2
Ignore Others Who Do Not Believe in You.

Rule #3
Know when to Stop.

Rule #4
Most Importantly, Know when to Keep Going.

Implement these rules.  Make them a part of who you are.  Don’t listen to the Doubt Beeyotch.  She’s not your friend.  YOU are YOUR friend. YOU are your strength. Be strong. Believe.

And don’t forget to enjoy the success when it comes to you.  And it will.


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This is a little “Throwback Thursday” for ya’ll. Me and the Expert. 1999. And I thought I was “so fat” back then. Nothing like some real fat to make ya appreciate what you “had.”

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Packing it up! The Expert and I are moving again… and I am unearthing all sorts of treasures. How about a coupla of Razr phones! Oh yeah…


  • Ashley

    March 20, 2014 at 10:41 am

    LOVE this post! I needed it this morning…I’m training for my first 70.3 in St. George in May, and I’ve been battling with myself more times than I can count. I think I’ll keep this post bookmarked 🙂

  • Andrea

    March 20, 2014 at 10:52 am

    When people say “I couldn’t” it usually means “I won’t.” There is the dividing line between committed and merely interested. I’m with you every day at 4:30 on the trainer or the treadmill, Meredith. We are a 2 triathlete, 2 job, 4 kid family and have found what you have — if you want it, you have to MAKE the time to go get it.

  • Angie Flynn

    March 20, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Oh Meredith, A-FREAKING-MEN!!! PREACH Sistah!!!

    Mindset coaching is what I do for a living… I write books and talk to people about getting past, as you put it, their Beeyotch, and getting what they really want out of life. I immerse myself in it probably 80 hours per week and STILL I have days like last Thursday when I get on the fricking trainer and ride 112 miles on the damned thing in my living room just to shut her the hell UP!

    And then I jump off and say “SO THERE! I can TOO do REALLY hard stuff! BITE ME!”

    And she goes away… Until the next time. But that’s okay. I’m ready for her!

    Thank you for a wonderful post!

  • whiting

    March 20, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    You are so right about indoor workouts being amazing for mental toughness. They build confidence that is so helpful in triathlon! And so does getting up when the rest of the world is sleeping! Two hour workouts before work rock 🙂

  • Shannon

    March 20, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    Literally I was sitting on my bed doubting myself, doubting a goal that I have set for myself, and doubting a leap of faith I am about to take. And then I read your words: we must take risks, we must believe in ourselves, we must move forward. Fear can be so paralyzingly, and yet, sometimes a few words in a single blog post can do so much. Thank you!

  • Elena

    March 22, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Loved and needed this post. I am up for 70.3 (my first) on April 13 and have been doing all my bike training indoors. I keep saying it’s “building mental toughness” but holy crap it IS boring AND hard. It’s a mind F*ck actually. Thanks for inspiring and reminding us to shut the voice down!


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