WHEN YOU ARE FEELING LOST, YOU CAN’T LEVEL UP. STOP DIPPING YOUR TOES INTO YOUR TRAINING, GET A PLAN, AND STOP WASTING TIME WITH AN, “I DON’T KNOW WHAT I AM DOING” MINDSET.
LISTEN & SUBSCRIBE IN YOUR FAVORITE PODCAST APP
Heads up: Links on this page might be affiliate links. Well what the heck is that? It means that if you click on a link and make a purchase, I would make a small commission at no additional cost to you. Yay for both of us!
I’ve hit a creative slump
With the demands on all of our time, attention and emotional energy right now, I am having the hardest time asking women to join me on the show and share their vulnerable moments getting exploring endurance sports and testing their limits.
It’s not because anyone has ever hesitated! It’s just that I feel like I’m in a season of pouring out, not taking in, and asking for a woman to spend emotional capital with me feels like just entirely too much.
Like, I just have so much love for everyone who is out here just trying to hold it together, and push through and I feel very protective of you, whether you we know each other or not.
I’m cheering for you in my car when youre running down the sidewalk. I’m seeing your posts from your latest walk, and I am so stinking proud of you.
Yall, you’re killing it on tik tok with those Go up, Go down videos.
And I feel so humbled that you amazing folks choose to spend some of your time with me each week!
Since I felt like I needed to take a little break from asking women to record with me for Monday episodes, I’m just way off plan for our time together on Mondays. I’ll get this train back on the rails.
I just committed to myself that I would always be open about the realness of what I am doing here, so I am sharing that with you.
All this is to say: basically, I’m off plan and I feel a little like I don’t know what I am doing.
How is that for honesty, eh?
I was thinking about that a little when it occurred to me: there is no way I’m the only gal feeling this way right now!
Maybe you are also off plan. Maybe after your race was cancelled, you lost your goal and didn’t replace your training schedule with a new plan.
Maybe you aren’t totally sure what your next step is.
Is it time to step up to the next race distance or go for a faster time?
Is it time to go for a more structured nutrition plan?
Is it time for a coach?
So I thought we would talk about that!
What can we do when we are looking around at our active life and thinking, “I don’t know what I am doing.”
Balance is an illusion
First, we need to just clear something up pretty quickly in case you haven’t heard me say it before:
Balance is a lie.
I don’t know who first thought that women should be able to hold everything all at once in perfect proportion: work, home, family, & self, but HE was certainly wrong.
Sure, we can have it all, just like we are told. We just can’t have it all, all the time.
Does that make sense?
Right now, many of us have had to swan dive into our family obligations with zero break. The kids are home. In many parts of the country, they are not occupied with sports or camps. In some places, you can’t even boot your older kids outside to play with their friends while you clean the kitchen or eat chocolate in sweet sweet silence for a few minutes.
So if you are looking at your emotional capacity pie, that could be taking the lions share.
If that is the case, then it makes sense that another section of the pie is going to shrink. For Moms, we know that slice tends to be the self slice before its any other.
So if the reason you are giving yourself the old, “I don’t know what I am doing” gut check about your fitness goals,
Momma, you aren’t lazy, You aren’t weak. You’re human.
One day, the pendulum will swing the other way.
I am in a personally selfish phase in order to train for Ironman. I’m open about that with my family. We discussed it before I registered. Sure, I try to move things around to get in the workouts when it will have the smallest impact on my crew and any plans that they might have, but it will still have an impact.
Sometimes it means that my husband is telling the girls when to head upstairs and take their shower or when it’s light out, instead of me. If we are going to watch a movie as a family, I’m likely not snuggling with my physical touch love language kiddo the way she expects because I have to watch from my bike saddle in order to get the time in.
Sure, I allow myself to feel a little guilt about that sometimes, but only for a second. I know after November, my pie will shift all around and something else will take the largest slice of my focus. For now, it’s going to get more intense before it eases up, and we are ok with that.
If you are feeling like you find yourself saying, “I don’t know what I am doing,” and it’s based in a fear that you are letting something slide too much, know this:
If it could slide for so long and so far that it slides right out of your grasp, it was probably time to release it anyway. Those things in your life that are most important in your life can likely sustain a short season on simmer and will come right back to a rolling boil when you kick up the heat.
fitness goals when i don’t know what i am doing
Does this sound familiar?
A friend invites you to “Get in shape” together and you guys decide you are going to run a 5k. The next thing you know, you have downloaded Couch to 5k, you have a whole plan for which days are running days, you know what you are going to eat the night before your runs and what type of breakfast you are going to slam down before training.
You have the shoes, the outfit, the race plan. It’s happening.
You get to that start line on race morning and youre nervous, but ready. You put in the miles. You can do this, now all you have to do is execute.
You DO know what you are doing.
The gun fires and you’re off. For the next hour, the world is yours. You race, you finish, and you take a second to pause and acknowledge what you have just accomplished.
And three days later, you are L.O. S. T!
Before you know it, a week as gone by without running at all.
It’s not long before you have accepted that you just aren’t a runner afterall. That was just a thing you did. BRING ON THE OLD HABITS!
Girl! Do you really think you are the only one in this situation?
Maybe for you it wasn’t a 5k. Maybe it was a marathon or a century ride or trail race or a climbing whatever it is that you climbers do.
The point is, you are off plan and back to feeling like, “I don’t know what I’m doing.”
The way I see it, you have three options:
- Find a new plan for a new goal
- Hire a coach
Can we agree together that option 1 is trash?
Let’s start with the easiest and least expensive: You could always just find a plan online, print it, and get to it! You could start today, for free.
I know it seems so simple, but when we are in that lost space, it doesn’t feel easy, right?
Girl! Stop wandering around. Quick thinking, “I’ll go running tomorrow” with no idea what you will do and only half committing. Enough waiting for another kooky friend to hatch a scheme with you.
Stop right now, find a plan, and get yourself back on track.
Enough with the, “I don’t know what I am doing” self talk. You are better than this!
If you want to move, make a plan.
(Of course, plans change. That was the topic of our last episode. That’s fine. Have a plan to change!)
While I don’t think they are perfect, my favorite pre-written running plans right now are by Hal Higdon, or Jeff Galloway. I have used them both, many times.
So, should you just jump right into another plan or get a coach?
That really depends on where you want to go!
Can I tell you a little story about my only coaching experience? It slung me directly into imposter syndrome insanity. Not because the coach was bad, he isn’t. He is fantastic. It was because I didn’t think enough about finding a coach that felt natural for me.
In full disclosure, I am currently studying to become a UESCA certified running coach. Why? Because I don’t want other women to feel like I did.
I signed up to work with a wonderful, easy going guy who had quite a bit of Ironman experience under his belt. He was fast.
He was so nice to me, and yet I was still so nervous to talk to him!
When he put workouts on my calendar, I did the most foolish thing. Get this:
I would talk myself out of doing the workout, not because I coudln’t or didnt want to, but because I was so embarrassed about this really fast athlete seeing my pace.
I created a wall of judgement in my mind that I’m sure didn’t exist. But I couldn’t climb over it.
Eventually, I ghosted.
I fully quit on myself and the goal emotionally long before my body even had a chance.
I was even too embarrassed to tell my husband what was happening because it was the first time that we had decided to make the pretty big financial investment in coaching! Instead of saying, “Listen…I still don’t believe in myself and I can’t bring myself to be wholly honest about my fitness level with this person,” I just made up excuses about why I was skipping.
That was UGLY. It’s even hard to admit!
After a ton of soul searching, I decided that I just couldn’t stomach the idea that other women who are completely capable of getting to the next level were likely holding themselves back for the same reasons.
So I signed up to learn all about science and become a running coach where everyone feels seen and loved and valued and strong.
It’s hard. And I’m in the thick of it.
So the reality is that I think coaching is an incredible next step, if you are emotionally ready to be vulnerable.
Find the right coaching partner. Find someone who is going to notice if you start skipping your workouts and with whom you would feel comfortable sharing why. Let her get to the bottom of it. Let her help you.
I watch my daughters’ swim coach. She knows and loves my girls like another mom. She calls me to check on their emotional wellbeing after a hard practice or a humbling meet.
She is a safe place for them. You deserve to have a coach who is a safe place for you. When you are in “I do not know what I am doing” mode, let her guide you instead of hiding.
If you are wondering Are you ready to step into the next race distance?
This is such a hard question to answer because the truth is: nobody knows for sure!
I plan (aha!) to have a full episode about this soon, but the short answer for now is: Maybe.
Take a look on the plans by the authors I recommended. Scroll on down to the longest weeks. Take the run time and then add in baths, extra sleep, extra time spent preparing the food you will need.
Do you have this kind of time?
What would you have to sacrifice to get in these workouts?
Can you tolerate that sacrifice? Are the people around you ready to tolerate it?
Sometimes these big jumps really require shuffling many pieces. My advice is not to just jump right in without taking a minute to really consider how this goal could actually look in your life.
And if you decide to do it, GO ALL IN!
“I don’t have a plan for my nutrition”
If it is in the nutrition space that you find yourself without a plan, spinning out, and feeling like, “I don’t know what I am doing,” There are some resources that I’d like to recommend!
First, I am not a nutrition expert. I am just an expert in the trial and error…and error..and error method.
I am a full on natural junk food junkie.
Getting in the car immediately feels like my wheels turn in the direction of fries and a sprite as errand number one, regardless of what errands 2-10 might be.
Doughnuts. Brownies. Toast with nutella. Those are my natural midnight snack foods.
But they aren’t what I am eating right now. After 20 years really genuinely abusive eating, I am finally finding some peace with food thanks to these resources. I have never felt better.
Maybe they won’t be the answer for you. I’m just trying to help you find a plan that works. So maybe give them a try.
The book Roar by Stacy Sims is written specifically for female athletes. She wants to make it incredibly clear that we aren’t just smaller men! We have very different nutritional needs.
It was so refreshing to hear that there really is science that backs up how we ride the wave of our emotions and energy for our workouts at different points in our cycle. Nutrition can help us calm that.
The Game Changers Documentary on Netflix could flip how you think of protein and sports nutrition on it’s head. It does support a plant based diet for athletes (me too!) so if that feels like an absolutely hard pass for you, just keep that in mind.
Fed Up on Netflix. Yall. When sugar is your issue, this is for you.
So those are just a few ways I wanted to share about how we can get back on track if you are starting to feel like you are a little lost.
I am going to take my own advice! In fact, since I started preparing for this episode, I have booked two interviews with awesome women that I can’t wait to bring you soon!
Let’s get a plan down, dear athletes. Let’s get on track.
We deserve it.
I’ll be back with you for a quick pep talk on Friday and again on Monday. If you have not yet joined our Facebook Community, We Are Finding Finish Lines, scroll on down to the shownotes and click the link to join. We are getting to knwo each other in there a little now and would love to meet you! There is power in numbers.
That’s all for today my friends. Until next, time, Carry on women of valor.
Finding Finish Lines is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.