Caging the Self Critic Beast

When I first started running, one minute of successive jogging was all that I could handle during a workout. It was insane how hard it was! The huffing, and the puffing, and the red faces were likely the most hilarious thing people on the street that I passed witnessed all day. Frumpy, fat girl running! Look out!

I kept going though, and then the nerves hit.

I was so nervous to move on to the next Couch to 5km “week” that eventually I gave up trying to use the program and just went with my own intervals, set up on my Runkeeper app. Bringing the exertion level control back to me was a epiphany. I had much less nerves before my runs once I did that. Cto5k wasn’t bad, in fact was great! Just not for me. I want to be my own master of pain and torturey (Is that a word?). With my visualization, and focusing on the feeling, I was now looking forward to runs, instead of trying to calm the shakey hands and drowning out Worried Self with loud music.

Today, I finally did a two minute jog segment walk/jog.

I did not die.

I am progressing very slowly in this jogging thing, and today was a wicked confidence boost. Having calmed the Nerves Beast, I am now dealing with the You aren’t doing good enough” Self Critic Beast”, and perhaps this helped a little in getting rid of the hairy, stinky thing (the beast, not my husband, I love him and want him to stick around. He’s useful.) or at least making it harder to defeat my will to get better.

This beast is ugly, and bigger than the last one. This one can actually make me cry. Yeah… Crying and running is so not elegant nor recommended.

It all started a couple of weeks ago after one of my hubs and my “date runs”. I am slow (read: short stubby legs), and my husband complained that every time we run together that his legs hurt after because he has to go so slow to pace me. This devastated me. I felt horrible for holding him back, and I don’t want to run with him anymore, because its obvious I am not doing well enough to keep up to him anymore. (read: he is already doing further faster distances than me with this running thing. Just once I want to be better at something than him! Yeesh…)

Self Critic Beast jumped for joy at my sulking and said “See? Why bother? You aren’t getting anywhere, you haven’t lost much weight (Hubby has lost 15 pounds, argh) and you see no improvement to your health! Your husband is going to get fit and you will still be fat and ugly.”

I was low, low, low. Pair this with a new health reality of Diabetes, and it was all I could do to function normally and put on a brave face for all the folks who were giving me Diabetes advice and support in the week following.

Diabetes sucks, y’all. Just sayin’…

Today, I am a bit more proud of my progress, and glad I have kept at it. I have to go slow, I know this, and sometimes I get frustrated that I am not already jogging further/faster than I am after a month and a half. My knees, hips and shins however, are just fine with my fitness plan. It is important to progress at a pace that is both physically and mentally comfortable. I know this. I rode horses for 20 some-odd years and never once did I push past what I knew I could comfortably do, without becoming complacent in my routines. Push, strive for new achievements and levels of excellence, but at my own pace.

So Self Critic Beast is hanging on, and he’s poking me with his big stupid stick. I need to find a cage for him, but it too, is slow.




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