Considering just over 6 months ago I couldn't run at all I feel a huge sense of accomplishment having completed this distance, even though today I am hobbling like a chicken with two broken legs...
The official race results will be published tomorrow, but according to my watch I finished the race in 1 hour and 16 minutes: 5 minutes less than my previous 12kms during training.
At the start line there were rows and rows of portaloos that had been brought into the city centre, and about 400 people queued up to use them! It was cold and about twenty minutes before the race I decided I needed to pee. There was no way I was going to make it through the queue and back to the start in time so I held on.
There were four areas of portaloos along the race course but a queue at every one of them... so I ended up running the entire 12kms needing to pee! It was good motivation to keep running and get there as fast as I could. Perhaps this did affect my running form which went out the window about 5 minutes into the race.
I'm sure this is why my knee is so sore today; it started hurting after the first kilometre or so. Despite a sore knee and a heavy bladder I kept on going, I never really doubted I would make it, which for me is a very positive improvement in mindset.
Having experienced depression in my life, I'm very aware of the critical voices in my head which are regularly mumbling in the background - I think we all have them. However with regular practice in meditation and mindfulness I am now able to notice when these voices arise, stop the train of thought (by focusing on the present: "feet on the floor, breath in the nostrils" etc.) which helps stop the cycle of depression beginning. This kind of mindfulness is a very powerful tool against depression.
What is new, what I'm not used to, is hearing a positive silence; a lack of internal critical voices. I didn't really experience this until I started running long enough to zone-out. Meditation in action. I don't need to focus on my breathing, or on my feet hitting the pavement, I just stop thinking altogether and start experiencing life.
This is how I felt during moments of the run but overall I just KNEW I would make it, no matter what. Have you experienced a rise in self-confidence? What helped you?