Getting My Head In The Game

I’ve heard all the sayings and pinned my favorite memesThe Body Achieves What The Mind Believes, She Believed She Could And She Did, Determination Makes The Impossible Possible–but it’s only recently that I’ve really appreciated the importance of getting my head in the game. It came to me after my first attempt at the hilly Conte’s group bike ride, as I was reliving my fall going up the N. Quincy Street hill.  I realized that the moment I looked up and thought there was no way I would make it to the top was the moment my legs just stopped, causing me to fall over.

getting my head in the game
A rainy weekend and a trip to Colorado kept me off my bike for a few weeks, and as the days went by, the ride got scarier, the hills got steeper, and the climbs got longer. I wasn’t even sure if I would show up again.

Getting My Head In The Game

As the weekend drew near, I was still on the fence. None of my friends were going, and while my husband had agreed to go with me, the possibility of being the only woman on the ride made it even more stressful. But then Ann shared this quote during my Friday morning CPY2 class. 

Pablo Picasso
It was just the nudge I needed to face those hills again. It reminded me that the only way they would get easier is if I kept trying.

I also pondered why I have no qualms trying yoga poses I can’t do but am so intimidated by hills I might not be able to climb.

Fear of injury? Not really, since that kind of fall is usually at low speed, although I do need to get better at unclipping so I can catch myself! 

Embarrassment? Maybe, since it’s much more noticeable when you have to walk your bike up a hill than when you “transition” into child’s pose.

Still, I couldn’t think of any reason good enough to keep me away, so I spent the evening convincing myself that I can do hard things

Keeping My Head In The Game

On my second attempt, I decided to approach the N. Quincy Street hill like I approach difficult yoga poses–with an open mind, seeing how far I can get, and willing to try different techniques. Since I had been in too hard a gear on my first attempt, this time I started in the easiest gear, but that didn’t work out either. As the hill got steep, my legs were just spinning around and I knew–or thought–I would never make it to the top without more momentum. Without too much chagrin, I hopped off my bike and walked it up the hill. 

For better or worse, I think that decision made the rest of the ride a bit easier. My legs were spared that exertion and I knew I could make it up all the other hills–as hard as they were. I focused on keeping my mind in the game and not letting any other hills psych me out. I knew I had to quash any negative thoughts before they were fully formed, so I pulled out all the mantras, reminding myself “I’ve got this” on the longer climbs. I stopped worrying about keeping up with the rest of the group and convinced myself that I could keep up my steady pace “all day long“–or at least for the rest of the ride. 

This past weekend I joined the Conte’s ride for the third time. I didn’t debate participating, but my GI tract reminded that I still was nervous. It was a smaller group, but since a woman from my Moms Run This Town group joined, I wasn’t the only female. As we approached THE HILL I played with my gears  to try to find the one that would be “just right.” As it got steeper,  I stood to climb but knew I was going to make. I cheered as I reached an easier part–still climbing–and approached the group waiting for me to catch up with a big grin on my race. The rest of the ride was still challenging, but I knew I could do it, and I did. 

Conte's Ride

This ride demands a lot from my legs and requires the right mindset, but only by doing it will it be something that I can do.  

Deb Runs

Today’s Wednesday Word is mindset.

What do you do that requires the right mindset?

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34 Responses to Getting My Head In The Game

  1. Carla says:

    these days? LIFE.
    and truly it makes all the damn difference when I can get my HEAD in the marriagemotheringjobsearchLIVING game as well.
    <3

  2. What a great feeling, to conquer real hills or other hill-like challenges! Yes, you can do hard things!
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…Be Your Own Hero: 6 Strategies to Help You Run Your Best RaceMy Profile

  3. Kimberly G says:

    What an amazing accomplishment! To conquer those hills takes a lot of motivation and determination – great job!
    Kimberly G recently posted…Hope in Motion 10K Race RecapMy Profile

  4. Trying new things & meeting people — it’s always scary for me! Sometimes I can convince myself; sometimes I fail. And fear of failure is such a tough nut to crack!

    Great job, Coco!things are so rarely as bad as we make them out to be in our minds. Great job making a molehill out of that mountain. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy recently posted…Change your mindset . . .My Profile

  5. That ride is so mental for me too. After I knew I could get up that hill, I felt there was no stopping me and felt pretty bad ass for doing it. We can achieve so much more than we think we can!

  6. Aren’t you glad you did it now?
    When I’m worried about completing a tough run I use that same Mantra too!

  7. Way to go, what a great feeling! Love the quote your friend posted, nothing like a little nudge to help you out.
    Anna @ Piper’s Run recently posted…May Mileage & June GoalsMy Profile

  8. Steena says:

    Ah yay! I know this fear, and giant hills! It’s a huge accomplishment to face it, and get over it!
    Steena recently posted…Weekly Accomplishments #1My Profile

  9. Dana says:

    That is so great! I have a hill I fear as well and when I have to get off and walk it, I tell myself it is the same when I am running it and have to start walking. So much of what we do is mental.

  10. Gina says:

    That’s so awesome! Way to conquer that hill. Such an inspiring post!
    Gina recently posted…Beat the Afternoon MunchiesMy Profile

  11. Awesome!!!!! Way to spank that hill ๐Ÿ˜‰ The Picasso quite is stellar ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Kimberly Hatting recently posted…Dam to Dam & the Big PictureMy Profile

  12. Rachel says:

    Way to go! I have so many questions about riding and clipping in. Are hills harder when you’re clipped in? My friend recently got a road bike and shoes and said you push and pull since your feet are attached to the pedals. I have no idea what this feels like! Such a new world to me…
    Rachel recently posted…6 Ways to Satiate Your Sweet Tooth Without Eating SugarMy Profile

    • Coco says:

      Oh, no, hills are ^easier^ when you’re clipped in because you get the force of pushing on the down stroke and pulling on the upstroke powering you up. What’s harder about them is clipping out before you stop if you’re not going to make it. ๐Ÿ™‚ But, the extra power on the hills is why I won’t give up my clips even if I fall once in a while!
      Coco recently posted…2017 Lawyers Have Heart Race RecapMy Profile

  13. Jenn says:

    How awesome! You must be so proud!

    Where I live, it is flat flat flat. Flatter than flat. We have a few bridges – it’s what I use for hill training for running, but I haven’t been brave enough to try my legs at cycling them. Every day, I’m getting a little more brave, and I’ll get there soon.

    So glad you had a successful climb!
    Jenn recently posted…celebrate global running dayMy Profile

  14. We all have the ability to do hard things, as long as we can get our head in the game and focus on them. Congrats on conquering those hills!
    Kathryn @ Dancing to Running recently posted…2017 Ringing in Hope 10k RecapMy Profile

  15. Janalyn says:

    What a great accomplishment! That’s wonderful

  16. Tamieka says:

    Omg…why am I over here cheering for you as if I was on the hill with you!! My kids are looking at me like I a crazy!

    Way to get your head I the game and tackle that hill!!

  17. Denise says:

    I definitely agree that you have to get your head in the game. I play mind games all the time before races and long rides. It helps to be in the right mindset to get you through a long run or ride.

  18. Amazing job conquering that hill!
    That is awesome.

  19. Karen says:

    Great job on conquering the hills! It is a mindset…which I have struggled greatly with this year, the heat is wearing me down already. I am trying to find a way to get my head back in the game now.

  20. Congrats on successfully making it up that steep hill! It seems mindset was the perfect word for you. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for linking up!
    Debbie @ Deb Runs recently posted…A Whirlwind CelebrationMy Profile

  21. Motivation is 50% in a race, and you can train it as well. Congratulations, is very useful for other runners to read about successes. Thanks!

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