When you wake up and it’s pouring with rain, you may feel like staying in bed, but you have to get to work, or drop the children off at school, or pick up your friend from the airport. So what do you do? Get dressed and find raincoat or an umbrella to keep you dry. If it gets really bad, you may wait for lull in the downpour, but then with the days duties calling, you make a run for it.
You have to get on with you day regardless of the bad weather (even beautiful sunny days can’t always be spent on the beach – you need to get things done). Of course, you use whatever you can in order to cope with the weather (umbrellas, coats, scarves, gloves), but then need to get on with things.
You can think of emotions a bit like the weather. On race day you may feel nervous or sacred, and during the race you may feel upset or despondent or tearful. But you still have job to do – getting to Pietermaritzburg. It’s good to notice the emotions (just like you need to look out your window to see if it’s raining in order to dress appropriately), but not let the emotions stop you from doing what needs to be done. If you job is to pace the first 10km at 7:30min/km then do that. If you job is to walk up the hills and run down the hills, do that. If your job is to get to the next water station and then having a rest, do that.
Yes, of course some emotions make it a little tougher to do your job – just like its harder to get to work in a storm than in a drizzle – but you can still do it. In order to do it though, you need to know what your ‘umbrella’ is. What is the thing that you know helps you through the tough patches (you would have figured this out on some of your tough training runs)? Maybe you need to talk to the person next to you, maybe you need to have a laugh, or maybe you need to give yourself a bit of stern talking to.
Use whatever works for you, and although the emotions may still be there for a while, they will pass over, just as any storm does.