5 Beliefs I’ve Conquered


One of the most amazing things about running is the way it builds your confidence. How it teaches you that you can do hard things; things you never thought you could do. I still remember that I couldn’t believe I could run a mile — me! The girl who avoided running if at all possible growing up.


Today I am joining up with the  Friday Five 2.0  from Fairytales & Fitness and Rachel @ Running on Happy and sharing five beliefs running has helped me conquer.

And faster in the heat than I thought I could be

I can’t run hard in heat
I have believed this for years. And I have hot half after hot half that just reinforced that belief.

Until I ran Craft Classic Phoenix (read about it here). While I didn’t PR that particular race, it was the best I’d ever run in the heat . . . at that point.

At least this day, I conquered the humidity for a PR

I can’t PR in the heat and humidity
After running Craft Classic Phoenix, I just assumed that it was the dry heat in Phoenix that helped me run so well, even on a very hilly course. In fact, I assumed that Panama City Beach wouldn’t be a PR, because FL is always humid, right? Wrong! I got lucky and the weather was just right for that race and it was flat.

Going into the Best Damn Race New Orleans, I trained hard, but assumed it wouldn’t be a PR — despite the flat course, it was forecast to be hot and humid. As I kept telling my coach, Rachel @ Runningonhappy, I suck at humidity.

Wrong! Or at least wrong for me that day. And it was definitely hot & humid! Read that race review here.

You had me at chocolate . . .

I can’t run a trail half marathon
I’ve done a few races with just a portion on trails — dry, non technical trails for the most part. I run on trails very occasionally. So when I got the idea into my head to run a trail half marathon — with very little time to actually train on trails — yeah, it was scary. But . . . chocolate.

Some of my long training runs had me running at a pace that would mean finishing with the time limit questionable, and boy, did I question myself. Luckily, those runs were also on very hot days, and the one saving grace was that I picked a trail half near Seattle — heat would not be a factor; but mud would be. It was called Mud and Chocolate after all (read about it here).

I’m pretty sure most of my halfs will be road races, but if I find a trail race that calls to me, I wouldn’t hesitate to sign up for another one.

I can’t run a race relying on the aid stations only
I have run far too many races where aid stations would out of something, and often that ended up derailing my race. I need my hydration!

I won’t lie: the first time I ran a half relying on the aid stations, it was because I’d forgotten my water bottle. I felt so light! So free! Although I have done it since, most of the time, I really prefer to carry my own water. And now I prefer to carry it in my hydration vest (read about that here).

I can’t run a good race at elevation
Running in Sedona before Craft Classic Phoenix was my first introduction to running at elevation. Sedona is about 4000 feet. It was also trails. And hilly. It was hard, but so fun! The race itself was in Phoenix, though, and that is just a mere 1000 feet (although still higher than my 300 feet above sea level home city).

So when the Utah Valley Half Marathon offered me a free race entry, I won’t lie, the thought of starting a race at about 5000 feet was daunting. But hey, I’d get to visit Utah (I had never been), meet up with new bloggers, and the race was mostly downhill.

The race was tough, but somehow I managed to PR the mostly (but not completely) downhill course. The elevation made it seem a lot harder than I think it actually was.

The only way to grow is to challenge yourself.
— Ashley Tisdale

Try it, you’ll like it
I am not an adrenaline junkie and I tend to be rather cautious about most things. Just the fact that I ran 3 halfs in 3 months was definitely more of a challenge than I usually take on! Heck, essentially I’ve run 5 halfs in 6 months if you go back to October of 2016.

I will probably always have to battle with myself over things that scare me, and sometimes I won’t win, but I do know that I am glad that I challenged these five beliefs.

Once you just open yourself up and try, win or lose, your world becomes a larger place.
–Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy

So let me know in the comments:

What beliefs have you challenged (doesn’t have to be running-related)?

How did challenging those beliefs help you grow?

What’s your next big challenge?

28 thoughts on “5 Beliefs I’ve Conquered

  1. Running does get us to face our “can’ts”. I think Ragnar taught me I can run in the middle of the day, and late at night, and on no sleep! And enjoy it all!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I haven’t done a Ragnar or an OCR. Don’t really have the desire to, but never say never!

      You seem so confident though — so it’s surprising it hear you doubting your abilities.


  2. I may be the opposite. it’s others that tell me I cannot do something. Such as you can’t run a half marathon at your age, you cannot run a sub 30 min 5k right away, you cannot win your age group, you cannot sleep alone on your boat, you cannot hike by yourself, you cannot run after serious ankle surgery, etc. I always say that I CAN.

    The only can’t that I can think of is You can’t PR if you haven’t trained for one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually, you do have quite a few beliefs (that you discard when necessary). Won’t run in the rain (unless it’s a race), won’t run more than 2 days in a row, etc. etc. Can’t run because of work — but you seem to find a way most of the time. Won’t run on the mill . . . 😉


  3. There’s a big difference between I don’t like to and I don’t think I can. All you mentioned are dislikes. I know I can do all of those just don’t want to. I can run in the rain, run on the mill, run 3 days in a row, re-arrange my running schedule…

    I am confident that I can run a marathon but I really right now have zero desire.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure you can run a marathon too. Although that’s not something I mentioned.

      There’s a very fine line between can’t and don’t want to, often.

      In general I believe that I could run a marathon, too, but there is always that small doubt. Because it’s a lot of miles and some of us get overuse injuries easier than others.


      1. Very true. Sometimes you may say “You don’t want to” but the underlining reason is the you think that “you can’t.”

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I ran without my water bottles for the Bolder Boulder, despite still having issues with how dry it is up here. I’ve never raced with water bottles, and I did well for the most part. I did miss the last aid station and I was ready for some water at the end!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I remember the thrill and astonishment the first time I ran 5k – I hadn’t believed that I would ever do it – and then the half marathon, though I had a bit more self belief for that!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m still in question that I could run a good race at elevation. Apparently I tend to get altitude sickness. Weird, but true, lol. Colorado is going to be a challenge. I’ll wait for your review before I do it, hahahaha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, we were there a week ahead of time. Although apparently if you do the race within 24 hours it’s not supposed to effect you.

      Some people do get it, obviously. And even if you never have before, you can.

      I know Darlene has had it but she ran in Denver without a problem.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I often notice these self-limiting thoughts in myself and others. Many people are very adamant as to what they “cannot” do and we tend to label ourselves as such. “Not fast” “Not a swimmer” etc. It’s amazing what we can do when we are open to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Darlene keeps saying I can’t call myself BOTP anymore — except that’s not true. I was very BOTP in our group run today! But I was MOTP (or almost) for the race.

      I do think as women we are trained to be modest. All my friends who are just constantly wracking up AG awards & claiming to be slow . . . sometimes we’ve got to own it!


  8. You do inspire me Judy! I’ve always been intrigued by doing a trail half but have told myself that I’d injure myself. And of course, there’s that whole full marathon thing that you and I have talked about. I always say that my body wouldn’t allow me to run 26 miles …maybe it’s really my mind that is the problem. If I could get over the fact that it’d be a long slow 26 miles, I could probably complete it.

    The elevation in Utah wasn’t really a problem for my breathing…although I did notice my lungs were a little “tight” the first mile or so, but certainly not as difficult as running in this dreadful humidity we have down here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thanks, Teresa. I would be lying if the trail half didn’t scare me some. Especially the potential for injury. But I’d decided to take on some things that challenged me this year — and having a coach to cheer me on & guide me really helped with that.

      The marathon . . . I do think about it. Initially I didn’t want to take it on because I just didn’t want to run for that long. I’m still not sure I do, frankly, but at least I know I can run faster — at least sometimes — these days.

      There’s the whole time commitment thing. The precarious health of my parents & my furkids (who are actually all healthy now, but Gizmo is going on 17).

      One idea I’m playing with is taking on this race that is 18,12 miles next year. Maybe. My biggest problem with that one is it’s in August! Yuck! We’re not humid like you, but it can still get pretty darn uncomfortable at that time of year.

      They say that if you do it like you did — run the race within the first 24 hours — that you won’t notice the elevation as much. I’ve not idea if that’s true or not. I felt it a little bit — not so much breathing, I think, just making the pace seem harder than it really was.

      But I do love a downhill. 🙂 I know a lot of people who don’t, but I do! And my hill training definitely paid off, I think.

      Liked by 1 person

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