I have been thinking about this topic of self-sabotage a lot lately because it seems to be something that I run across with my weight-loss clients and athletes often. I have even done this to myself. Self-sabotage can be defined as something that you do to yourself that prevents you from achieving your best in something. I believe it is generated in our minds from our self-concept. It can range from negative self-talk to down right getting in your own way. Self- imposed limits can hamper your ability to perform and can happen for various reasons. Maybe you don’t feel like you’re worthy or deserve to perform well, it’s out of your comfort zone; Maybe you’re feeling guilty for something in the past that you have to punish yourself for. Or maybe you can’t handle the expectation that would be created if you did everything perfectly right. As a perfectionist I can tell you that can be dangerous thinking. The beginning of every year I purposely eat something bad the first day of the year so I don’t put the pressure on myself for the entire year to eat perfectly every day. This may sound silly but it works for me. Some of us may have high expectations for ourselves and when we feel like we can’t meet them we give up completely.
Do you beat yourself up when you didn’t do it perfectly? Being more forgiving of yourself can help you regain control and keep you from throwing in the towel or your hands in the air and going off the deep end. As I’ve grown older and wiser I’ve realized that everything doesn’t turn out perfect and it’s not healthy to live extremes. All-or-none thinking can be dangerous and can lead to a lot of self- sabotage. Not everything is black-and-white and most people tend to live in the gray area. So this is why I teach principles like the 90/10 rule. 90% of the time you’re eating for fuel and 10% you’re eating for fun. I don’t expect myself to be perfect 100% of the time nor should anyone. The fact is no one is perfect. For me to have a little something “unhealthy” on the first day of the year is my way of reminding myself that it’s okay to not be perfect. We all make mistakes but our response to these mistakes is often what leads to a positive or negative outcome.
What about negative self-talk? This is probably by far the most common way people sabotage themselves. Most people constantly have a stream of communication going on in their head with themselves. What they say to themselves repeatedly is usually what translates to how they behave. If they are constantly telling themselves they’re not good enough and they’re not smart enough and they are a loser it’s going to reflect in their actions. Some of you may recall several SNL daily affirmation sketches with Stuart Smalley. Although entertaining I believe they have some value.
As an athlete I have read a lot of material on mental strength and how to perform better using mental techniques. I have found a common thread. Positive self-talk and visualizing yourself as being successful is what leads to success. The more often you practice positive thinking, the more success you will have. This may seem cliché or simple but it really works. No matter how thin you slice it there is always two sides to any situation. You could always look for the positive or you can look for the negative. The choice is yours. But look at those people in your life that are most successful. Are they positive or negative people?
Don’t get trapped in a comfort zone. Often we self-sabotage because we are afraid of the unknown or to go into unfamiliar territory. If we’ve always seen ourselves as unsuccessful and then we start being successful that could be uncomfortable. Those fears can cause us to self- sabotage so we can return to our comfort zone. But to create a new you, you have to let loose of the old you. It’s different and it’s going to feel different. Embrace it. I’ve always like to tell people; You have to go out on the limb because that’s where the fruit is. Don’t be afraid to define a new you. Undoubtedly there will be resistant at first from yourself and others but you can except a new you.
What about the power of suggestion? I often believe that negative comments from others sometimes can become our thoughts about ourselves. If someone tells you, “You are no good, weak or are a selfish.” Do you believe them? What do you say back to that in your head? Do you echo it and make it a self-fulfilling prophecy or do you find other words to replace it like, “I’m worth it, I am strong, and generous” etc… I’ve had my fair share of damaging and abusive insults in my life time but I’ve always tried to find a way to negate them. Sometimes it takes time to convince ourselves and others of the qualities that we have. But just like the great sculptor Michelangelo viewed a piece of granite; he simply brought out something that already existed in it. So can we. We all have greatness in us. We may have to use that power of suggestion on ourselves. Tell yourself what you want to see in yourself and you might find that you’ll start seeing more of that. Often we find what we are looking for.
When it comes right down to it, it’s what we are saying to ourselves that determines the outcome of a race. The winner of the race is usually the person that believes that they could win not the person that called himself a loser. True, it may not be in our capability range to win a race but what you say to yourself is still important. What do you say to yourself when someone passes you in a race? “Great job, look at them go” or “I am so slow” or “My friends or family are going to be so disappointed in me.” Sometimes we become overly consumed with what others might be thinking of us; I know I am guilty of this, but the person opinion that matters most is ourselves. The best thing to do is just worry about what we can control and doing the best we can. I have found a lot of joy from living in the moment and enjoy the process of what I am doing at the time and searching for the positive. I guess you could say I take time to smell the roses. Show gratitude for the things that you enjoy every day and concern yourself less with things you have no control over like the future. When you do this you are too busy to self-sabotage. Focus on the process, live in the moment and enjoying every moment of every experience. If you messed up, forgive yourself and resolve to get back on track and be the best you.
Learn more about Mental Prep for a race View the video clip
I think preparing mentally for races is really important and I shared the mantra I used in the Half Marathon I ran this weekend in my Race Report. Here are some tips or things to consider when mentally preparing for races.
Coach Lora Erickson
Many of you may have read my recent article for the Outdoor Sports Guide Magazine talking about the The Big Five – Utah’s Must-Run Marathons. The first race I mentioned was the Salt Lake City Marathon. There are many reasons I choose to include this event and over the weekend I had the privilege of participating in the Salt Lake City Half Marathon. I had a great experience at this well-organized event! The expo was packed with great booths and staffed well; so the lines flowed easily at packet pick-up the day before the event. It was fun to bump into friends there and browse the booths. The next morning I got an early start and was thrilled to see perfect temperatures for the event. Many people parked at the finish and racers bib numbers gave them a free ride on TRAX to the start. The starting line was situated next to the University of Utah outdoor track. It was a fun and festive environment with music, laughter, nervous excitement and lots of people.
I believe there were nearly 6,500 people participating in the 5 different event options. The Marathon and Half Marathon participants where to start together in waves. Each runner was assigned a corral based on estimated finish time starting with A at the line and continuing back through the alphabet. After dropping off my tagged bag I headed to my assigned corral which was B and started with the gun. Other corrals were roped off and would be started in 30 second waves. It was great to see many familiar faces at the starting line and chat for a few minutes before we began. I especially enjoyed talking to a former teammate I ran with in college. The race started with perfect tank top running weather at 45°. Soon the race was underway. The 1st mile included a fairly steep hill which separated a lot of the pack. As usual the first mile pace was fairly fast as everyone is burning up all the extra energy they have at the beginning of a race and settling into a pace. I hit the one mile mark with a 7:07 split. The next few miles were like a run down memory lane for me. I am originally from Colorado and was recruited to run long distance for the University of Utah on athletic scholarship. My freshman year in college we used to run the same roads as I was experiencing at this time in the race on 1100 East. It was a thrill to run down Memory Grove and truly did bring back a lot of great memories for me. The flow of people was steady and I felt like I was out on a run with a bunch of friends with all the “hello’s,”“How are you doing?” and “Hey, it’s Blonde Runner.” The great thing about participating in large events like this is you don’t have to worry about taking a wrong turn since it’s well marked and having people around keeps you motivated and it is always fun to chat a little.
Soon we found ourselves running on some of the main streets in downtown Salt Lake. There were many crowds of people cheering along the way and my ears especially peaked up when I heard familiar voices cheering “Go Blonde Runner!” and fun to see familiar faces at aid stations. The aid stations were mainly stocked with water and Powerade and volunteers were well-training and friendly.
My legs felt good and strong and my mantra for this race was to stay relaxed, be patient, run efficient and smooth and be strong. I took each mile in stride and enjoyed the experience. This was the first year I had participated in this event and it was fun to be part of such an iconic and highly anticipated event. The route toured many familiar roads and I especially love closed courses like this when we don’t have to worry about traffic. There were many mild incline and declines to keep it interesting but overall the course was downhill. Just before mile eight there was a significant and challenging hill right after an aide station, and about another mile down the marathoners peeled off to the left and the half marathoners stayed straight. It was great to see now where I was at in the race and set my sights on passing some of the people in front of me. Soon I reached mile 10 and was reenergized knowing I only had a 5K to go. Having done hundreds of 5K’s in my life I continued to repeat my mantra in my mind and maintain good form. As I rounded the corner of the final turn and could see the finish arch in the distance I continued to push all the way through the finish and was awarded my finish medal. It was an awesome belt buckle – I love practical things. I completed the event in a time of 1:36:40 (7:23 average). I was pleased with my efforts considering I had just had knee surgery 12 weeks ago as a result of being hit by a truck on my bicycle last Fall.
The finish area is always so much fun with the music and people cheering. They had an assortment of food and I loved that the finish area was only for runners. I mingled with many friends and made some new ones as I waited for many of athletes to finish. I was delighted to find out later that I had placed 2nd in my division and 3rd Overall Masters at the 2015 Utah State Half Marathon Championships. It was a great event and I won’t hesitate to participate again.
Special thanks to my sponsors, friends and family for their support: @tbrtriathlon @champsys @wasatchrunning @intermountain #malibu_c @xterrawetsuits @drinkcocogo #elete @bountifulbicycle #running #races #athlete #coach #saltlakehalf #halfmarathon #2015UtahStateHalfMarathonChampionships #roadrunnerclubofamerica #rrca
Be part of 2016!
The good news is they have a blitz going on for 2016 and you can get 45% off registration until April 26th. Learn more
If you need help training for your next event (running or triathlon) please contact me at Coach Lora Erickson at firstname.lastname@example.org I would love to help you reach your goals.
Get involved in a local charity event on Memorial Day (Monday May 25, 2015). Learn More
Fartlek? Interval? Speedwork? Tempo Run? Heart Rate Training? Vo2 Max? Lactate threshold? Cyrotherapy? What does it all mean? You will get the answers to these and many other questions in the Running Form & Training Class offered May 6, 6:30-7:30 p.m. It will be held in the Bountiful area. Learn about interval/speedwork and other types of training to improve your performance and get faster for running and triathlons. Beginners welcome. This is a one-time lecture-style class (no running). Learn how to prevent injuries. Message Coach Lora Erickson at email@example.com to reserve your spot.
It was about 40 degrees at the 8 a.m. start, so a bit chilly. I decided to wear gloves and a hat and my red TBR short sleeve shirt since my custom Champion System Blonde Runner gear is not ready yet (can’t wait until it’s done – it’s going to look awesome!). Even though it was cloudy I do wish I would have grabbed my sunglasses to keep the air from getting into my eyes as I was tearing up the first 1.5 miles. The tree pollen and dust counts have been extremely high in Northern Utah the last few weeks; which is no fun for those of us with seasonal allergies. Soon we were off, I lead the first mile with a split of 7:08 which is where I wanted to be. I knew the next mile was going to be slower because of the twists and turns and incline. There were three significant hills on this out-and-back route which was apparent with the next and much slower mile slit time. The route was really fun taking us past animals, over water and on a few short wood bridges; it was a beautiful groomed paved path. I loved it! I really enjoy out-and-back routes because you get to see other competitors and wave and say hello and the time went by fast. The last two miles had us touring most of the Lagoon Amusement park winding around all the rides. Even though it was flat I found it hard to push the pace with all the tight and frequent turns etc. The race offered three difference distances; half marathon, 10K and 5K events so it was fun to be able to see some other runners as all the routes ended with the 2 miles in the park. It was a sprint to the finish for me to capture First Overall Female in the 10K event. I was pleased with the race results considering I wasn’t feeling 100% this week and it has only been 10 weeks post knee surgery. It was fun to see so many of my friends and athletes there and cheer for them. It was also fun to make some new friends. If you’d like to learn more about the event visit Lagoon Half Marathon.
A big thank you goes to On Hill Events for putting on this fun event and all my friends, family and sponsors that support me! I couldn’t do it without you! Thank you so much!
Coach Lora Erickson
@champion_systems @intermountain @malibuwellness @_malibu_c @xterrawetsuits @bountifulbicycle @drinkcocogo @eleteaddin @wasatchrunningcenter #lagoon #10k #races #firstplace #friends #fun #inauguralevent #running #run #onhillevents
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Are you looking for a fun triathlon adventure? Check out this cool Doxa Threelay event. It’s like Ragnar for triathlon with up to 12 group members. It looks like a blast and my athletes on Team Blonde Runner (TBR) will be there. Come join us. Use the code “theblonderunner” and save $200! Visit doxaraces.com to learn more.
Coach Lora Erickson
Wed. May 6
Are you interested in getting started in triathlons or polishing up your skills? If so, this is a great class for you. All aspects of triathlon training will be covered in this one-time class including swimming, cycling, running training & form as well as equipment, transitions and nutrition. This is a great overview class with lots of great training and racing tips. Limited spots. Beginners welcome. To reserve a spot contact Coach Lora Erickson at firstname.lastname@example.org
The next Underwater Video Analysis will be offered April 22 in the late evening. Message Coach Lora Erickson directly at email@example.com to learn how to reserve your spot. Limited space. Learn more
For the last many years I have participated in the Front Runner Metric Century. I love it! This is a great point-to-point race starting in Salt Lake City and end at the Ogden Union Station. After the race you ride the Front Runner Train back to the start – so it’s unique and fun! Last year ended up being wet and cold but I loved the challenge and finished frozen to my bike. Thank goodness the Race Directors opened up their van to us and we had the heat on full blast. Despite the dismal conditions last year I will be back again this year on April 25th! This is simply a well-marked, very well organized event that I love to support! They also have great volunteers and a great food selection at the aide stations. It’s also fun to do with with family and friends! I will be doing it this year with the team I coach. Go Team Blonde Runner – TBR! (tbrtriathlon.com). Use the code TBR2015 and save $10. See you there!
Come join the fun! Learn more and get REGISTERED
We’d love to have everyone a part of the Race For Grief event. A virtual entry has now been set up so those from other places that can’t travel to join us can be a part of it. They can choose to run a 10K, 5K or 2 mile distance. They will be mailed a shirt (no shirt sizing guarantee after 5/17). Each participate is encourage to post a picture of their race to the Race For Grief Facebook page here.