I’ve been VERY quiet on here now for some time. I’ve only recently returned from my second block of intensive study in Bournemouth for my Clinical Hypnotherapy Diploma. Time management has been crucial in keeping up with my studies and coursework, being a busy mother, a wife, helping out in my husband’s business, training, looking after friends’ children, taxi driving my boys back and forth, pursuing my own personal interests, having time for being sociable, etc. etc.
Since the first block at Bournemouth in March I was motivated to set myself some goals and really challenge myself so I decided that I will run my first half marathon this year https://www.lanzaroteinternationalmarathon.com/ and progressively building up to running a full marathon sometime in the near future. I went into that course in March with the limiting belief that I’ll never be able to run that distance and came out of the first block of the course eager and ready to start up a training plan having dispelled that belief. My husband has been motivated to take on the challenge too!
So meanwhile I have almost silently been training intensively since April. (You can follow me on https://www.instagram.com/picachuqueen/ ). I returned for my second block in September and almost like a type of Forrest Gump started off with early 6am runs only to be joined by one colleague, then two colleagues, then 5 colleagues! All motivated to get some exercise (and ice-cream!). I loved that.
It was really great to have spent the last day on an early morning run with my tutor, Adam Eason, who was in training for his incredible ultra marathon runs. He subtly challenged me on that run right at the end! Also, one of my colleagues, Ahmed showed great diligence in taking up running with me and keeping up with the running during our time on the course.
So now I am up to 5-day a week technical runs and fitting in strength, core and mobility exercises.
I had noticed that I was going through a phase where my running pace seemed to be slower. I had a lot of accumulated fatigue. I persevered and managed to blast that fatigue away by not focusing on the tiredness and by telling myself I am getting more stronger and fitter every time I run. I then began to maintain a better pace with this different perception of effort. I could see progressive improvements being made but I had one major mental block. I kept telling myself I haven’t got enough fuel in the tank or power to run in zone 4. Before I knew it my heart rate wouldn’t pass zone 3 even on intense interval runs. I had kind of resigned myself to that being my limit.
I spoke about this to my Spanish neighbour who is a sports trainer and he said, “Amanda, no tienes chispa” which basically translates as I don’t have any spark. Now when someone tells me I don’t have x,y, or z I like to prove them wrong. I started thinking about the idea of a spark. It occurred to me that this is a limiting belief I’ve had from my school days of coming last in the shorter races and not having much power (spark) for speed. To be honest I was a gangly, uncoordinated child and teenager and would often fall over myself! I realised how ridiculous it was to carry this old belief into the present day and worked on powering up my legs under self-hypnosis by imagining lighting up a spark in the back of my feet which set a powerful fire through my feet and raging up my legs. I anchored this to the phrase “Light that Spark”.
I tested this out on my medium run. When I had reached zone 3 and was gearing up to go into zone 4 I prepared to ‘Light that spark’, and boy, not only did my anchoring phrase kick in with my whole body posture and running gait changing but I also got the fastest 1 km time I have ever ran. With determination to prove my thinking wrong I maintained a great speed for a good amount of time in zone 4 whilst feeling strong and in control. That, I have to say was satisfying and it goes to show how enhanced sports performance may be 50% physical training and 50% mental training. Training your mind to blast limiting beliefs is a real game changer.
Alive & Kicking.