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.
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.
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.
“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!
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!
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.
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).
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.
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.
Believe in Yourself.
Know when to Stop.
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.