Are you in better shape than you think you are?

JV on lst legA funny thing happened when I was running across New Hampshire a couple weeks ago. (No idea what I am referring to? Read this post --> http://johannavoss.com/2013/09/25/what-i-learned-from-running-reach-the-beach-208-miles-across-new-hampshire/)

I ran really fast. Like, really, really, really fast.

How'd that happen?

I'm going to state the obvious here. I run. A lot. (I think.) I run an average of 30ish miles/week on 4 -5 days of running. (It's great free therapy. You should try it sometime!)

Through middle school, high school, my college years and beyond, I was always running. For as long as I can remember, I was running around like an Energizer Bunny. Sometimes it was part of being active and other times it was actually part of a larger grand plan to run.

And while I was always in shape, I was never, ever, EVAH one of the fastest people out there.

WallisSandsHalfComing across the finish line, or completing any run longer than a couple miles was always a challenge to me.  I live in a world worrying that my asthma will flare up and I won't be able to breathe.

Or I'll get super nervous and worry my panties into a bunch, thus hyperventilating. It's not a pretty scene either way.

I have very vivid memories of running in high school between sports seasons with our class adviser. He would never tell me the distance we were going to run. Why not?

Because what do you think as soon as someone says, "Let's go run 6 miles?"

I don't know about you, but something along the lines of  "I can't do that! 6 miles? No way!" comes to mind.

Turns out, the body is in better shape than the mind thinks.

He would say this to me all the time and well, he was right. (Damn those adults being right.)

For the longest time, I lived in a world where I could run and finish a distance, but I was slow. Not fast. Slow. And I was okay with that.  Wasn't really running for anyone besides myself anyway.

IMG_2823My half marathon pace was always around a 9 minute mile. It put me at a sub-2:00 half marathon and that was awesome for me.

I've run 6 half marathons. The first two I ran in exactly the same time. I'm not kidding. The other four I completed in more or less the same window of time (1h 52 minutes to 1h 58 minutes.)

(I know some runners guard their minute pace time more preciously than their salary. It's just a number right? I share to put this into perspective.)

Somewhere between then and now, things shifted.

Slowly over the years, I've become a stronger runner. Now, this didn't just happen. I've worked my sweet a** off with track workouts, longer and longer distance runs, cross training, eating better and better, strength training and hiring a personal trainer.

While my body has gotten stronger and faster and more capable, my mind is still stuck in the "I'm a slow runner" mentality. Yup, I still don't think I'm that fast or that good (whatever that means!) My parents of course think I'm ready for the Olympics. Or at least the Pan-Am games.

Until I ran 200 miles across the gorgeous state of New Hampshire.

And I kicked some serious running butt. To the tune of getting faster and faster with each leg that I ran. Who knew I had it in me?

RTBtimesThis spring + summer, I went from running around an 8:30ish minute/mile to running my last Reach the Beach leg, almost 6 miles on two hours sleep and no breakfast at a 7:33 minute/mile.  And that last mile or so was uphill to boot!

Seven minutes and thirty three second average per mile. Did you hear me? (Yes, I'm bragging, but whatever.) Under an eight minute mile.

I mean, who knew? Who knew I could do that!?

So what's my point you are wondering?

Right, my point.

It's got me thinking. How am I holding myself back because I think I'm not "ready" enough, or "good" enough or "whatever" enough?

What could you do if your brain didn't tell your body that you weren't "there" yet? Or ready enough?

I'm now stepping up my game in the gym. And I'm stepping up my game when I lace up my sneaks and hit the road.

What about you, eh? Where can you step up your game?

Remember, your body is in better shape than your mind thinks.

To your game,

Johanna