I am dealing with lots of doubt and negative thoughts right now. It is all centered around one thing – ok, I have lots of doubts and negative thoughts, but right now one thing is at the forefront – the Des Moines Half-Marathon!
I have been training for this event the past couple months. I started by going a half-mile in May and have steadily increased my mileage. Last Friday I attempted my first double-digit slog – a ten-miler. It sucked. Bad.
I am having the biggest problem getting past the 6 mile mark. I can get six miles in without stopping, but then I crash and burn. I am spent, done, toast. I end up walking and jogging the last 3-4 miles in pain and misery. Keep in mind, a half-marathon is 13.1 miles – a far distance from six! I really don’t know what to do. The race (that’s a funny term) – I mean the gauntlet is four weeks from Sunday (October 16th).
I have spoken to a few experienced runners and have done some reading, looking for ways to get through the six mile wall. People give recommendations on if I am taking in water and energy (gel, energy beans, etc…) during the run – I am. People say you just have to keep on going through it – easier said than done. Someone said to just be content to walk/run the last six or seven miles – then I will get passed by 3/4ths of those running the full-marathon (pride – ugh). I read about replacing negative thoughts with positive “I can do this” thoughts or diverting my thoughts to think about my graceful stride or something similar. I tried this yesterday morning. I had positive thoughts for about 10 seconds and my mind immediately went back to how much pain I was in and how hard it was.
I wonder if I should just throw in the towel and be resigned to the fact that people my size aren’t made to slog 13.1 miles. Doubt.
Sometimes I doubt spiritual things as well. Sometimes I wonder if the Bible is real. I wonder if Jesus truly was God’s son. I feel like Thomas when he doubted until he actually touched the wounds of Jesus. The problem is I can’t physically touch the wounds of Jesus.
What does someone do with doubt?
I think there are several options. One is to study. If you doubt the Bible, so some research on the Bible, examine the textual evidence, the archaeological evidence, etc. Another option is to seek advice, ask people for help, people who have faith that you respect. Pray about it. Ask God to help you with your doubt. Ask others to pray for you.
Sometimes you just have to keep on going through your doubt. I have come to the realization that I am not going to have everything figured out and I am ok with that. I embrace the truths I do know and try to look beyond those things that don’t make total sense to me.
I guess that’s what I am going to do with the doubt I experience when I am looking towards the half-marathon. I am just going to keep going. I am going to keep putting one leg in front of the other. I am going out for a 10-mile jog in the morning. My goal is to make it farther tomorrow than I did last week without stopping.
I am praying that I won’t let my doubts hold me back. Don’t let your doubts hold you back either. I would appreciate your prayers over the next month as I battle my doubts and negative self-talk in regard to the half-marathon.
Where are your biggest doubts right now? How can you overcome them?