Creating My Own Reality

My latest sports psych read is “Golf Is Not A Game of Perfect” by Bob Rotella. I’ve gleaned a lot from the book, and not just about how to improve my short game. Joking, I’ve never even so much as picked up a putter or whatever it is called…except at put put.

The only time I’ve ever played anything that resembles golf. Look at that form! You can’t teach that!

Because I am a super-nerd, I’ve been taking notes (and highlighting important points) from the book in the back of my Believe I Am training journal.

Nerdy habits die hard. At least I didn’t use my “highlighter system” like I do for school (yellow = important, pink = very important)

While many points in the book have stood out to me, the following quotes illustrate good points, I think, that will likely be paramount to my sanity in the next 6 weeks. [apologizes for any grammatical errors in my block quoting]

“[Stuart is a 50% shooter from the floor, playing basketball at UVA] ‘Well, you have to understand. I’ve always been a 50% shooter….after I missed one, I figured my nxt one was likely to go in. After I missed two, I was overdue. By the time I missed five, I figured the next one absolutely had to drop’…Stuart had revelaed something very basic about the way good athletes think. They create their own realities. They think however they have to think to maintain their confidence and get the job done…If he misses a few putts, he has to believe that this only enhances his chances to make the next one..This may seem, to an outsider, to be absolutely irrational…The answer is that whether it’s irrational or not, it’s more effective than the alternative.”

“Without confidence, you can’t trust your physical ability. You can’t perform at your best. But a lot of golfers that I speak about confidence have misconceptions that hold them back. They think that confidence is an attribute that they cannot chose to seek and acquire. They think it’s something that descends on an athlete, like a revelation from above, after he’s performed perfectly for a long time…In fact, anyone can develop confidence if he or she goes about it properly. Confidence isn’t something you’re born with or something you’re given. You control it. Confidence is what you think about yourself and your golf game.”

I love this book because it is logical and pragmatic. Much of it reminds me of the techniques advocated for by Believe I Am.

Sound familiar?

In order to maintain my sanity, achieve goal #1, and give myself my best shot at running well in November, I’ve been creating my own reality. My own little “Meggie is an awesome runner and she loves a good challenge” world.

In my fake world, this short build up is perfect for me (less chance of injury, less time spent obsessing over it), my summer #5krevolution training will help my marathon, I’m going to peak at just the right time, and I am, most importantly, excited and looking forward to this marathon. There is no dread, no anxiety, no fear. It’s all fun, seeing what I can do, and ice cream.

It all comes back to ice cream.

Sure, I should be concerned with my lack of a 20 mile run like most of my NYC marathon running friends have done, but this doesn’t fit into the ideology of my fake world so I’m going to immediately dismiss that thought. In my fake world, I am on the perfect plan that is best for me and will lead me to a fantastic marathon (and, in turn, 2,600 calories of ice cream).

If the mental side of running is the hardest for you (like it is for me), I definitely recommend buying “Golf Is Not a Game of Perfect” and a Believe I Am training journal. They can become your secret weapons against the running demons!

And, finally, for anyone who may be interested in the nitty gritty of training.

1. I ran the 5th Ave mile in 6:20, then 1hr 45 minutes after, making for about 13 miles total for the day. The long run pace was between 8:40 and 9:20, proving that I, again, should not do long runs alone (ie I rock a solid 10 min mile jog easily alone, which takes much longer).

Kate Grace and I after her 5th Ave Mile win!

2. I did a workout yesterday. 6 x mile (7:26, 7:30, 7:47, 7:34, 7:37, 7:38) with 1 min rest in between. I think this was one of my longer workouts in a while. One day I will learn to do the first one slower and not be tricked into “this feels great and running this pace is just fine!” I made myself slow down after the 2nd and felt pretty good until the last one which felt a bit labored. I thought this workout was pretty good considering I have a cold, which I am attempting to hydrate and sleep away.

TELL ME: HAVE YOU READ “GOLF IS NOT A GAME OF PERFECT?” IF NOT, FAVORITE SPORTS PSYCH RELATED BOOK?

Until next time…

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8 thoughts on “Creating My Own Reality

  1. 1. You have very pretty handwriting.

    2. I love Kate’s Oiselle top!

    3. I’m doing my first 20 this weekend. I feel a little behind, too. I was supposed to do my first two weeks ago, but it would have been four days after 18 and I wasn’t feeling recovered enough. So I cut back the distance on two long runs and now I feel more confident about tackling 20. I am feeling more nervous about doing 22, though…I know I’d be fine if I don’t top 20, but I feel like I need it as a mental boost…

    In any case we’ll be fine! 🙂

  2. Everyone trains their best in different ways. I always feel like I peak too early too! Or I did last March! SF actually came at the right time when I was peaking but with no taper. I have yet to time them correctly 😛

  3. that’s a great workout, Meggie! I like your philosophy and think that being in Meggie-world will work well for you. I forget how much the mental game plays into running and all sports. I don’t really read sports psych books but think i would like to once i have time to read things again.

    Also I’m stealing your highlighter strategy. WHY DIDN’T I EVER THINK OF THAT?

  4. way to go in that race and those workouts! and training is quite unique to each person so don’t get too hung up on comparing to wat others are doing, instead find wat works for u and let the results speak for you! 🙂 i love the I Believe journal…all about those goals, writing them down, and going for it! keep it up!

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