Thursday, 27 January 2011


I've got a new outlook on hills. Running hills that is, not hills in general; I never really had any opinion on hills in general before. My new outlook has come about as part of my new PMA: Positive Mental Attitude; or, as I've re-coined it PRB: Positive Running Belief!

I now positively believe that I can run up hills! Why? Because tonight I not only ran up hills, but I ran up them successfully. I ran up them feeling like I could just keep running. Yes, my legs burned with the lactic acid building in them with every climb. Yes, my lungs burned as I sucked desperate breaths of cold air into them. Yes, I was exhausted when I reached the top of the last every one. But my last hill, was hill number 8...EIGHT...I did EIGHT hills!
"How many hill repeats did you do Maggie?"
"Well thank you very much for asking, I think you'll find I did EIGHT!"

Why am I proud of this? Well for two reasons.
The first is simple: I have only ever managed 7 hill repeats on this particular killer hill. Therefore I think I can confidently class tonight as a new HILL PB!!! If such a thing doesn't exist, it does now!

The second reason is that my success of 8 hills, followed by a feeling of pride, is proof that my new PRB is working. I must emphasise at this point, that this is not a passing whim, not something I dreamed up tonight and will forget about tomorrow; No, I have done several things recently to help me develop my PRB: I have been reading positive, encouraging and truly inspiring blogs over the past 26 days, and in addition to this I have been keeping up with my usual reading of Runners World and Women's Running magazines which always fill me with great ideas and tips to try out; I have also been really listening to others, trying to take in their positive experiences, tips and advice and using that to inspire and motivate myself; I've changed my password to something positive and aspiring at work so that every time I type it in, I am giving myself a positive mental message (Obviously I can't reveal said positive mental message that I am aspiring to achieve as the Password Police will have me locked up in seconds... and I need to be vigilant of those spying squirrels! but needless to say it is very mentally and positively messagey); and before I set off tonight I set myself a plan - a simple plan - but a plan all the same. My plan was to push myself as much as possible and to allow no negative thoughts whatsoever to creep into my run. None.

And do you know what... it worked! I feel great. Even though my body aches, it aches in a good way; every time I stand up, crawl walk upstairs, or bend down to stroke my dog, my body reminds me that I have worked hard tonight... and achieved success.

For me, this is really is quite massive! Like many people, I'm sure, I'm exceptionally good at pointing out my own flaws; as a result I'm my own worst critic and rarely 'give myself a break' (or a KitKat!). Consequently if, following a run, I don't think I performed to my best, I beat myself up about it - not physically of course; we're still in the realms of the metaphorical mental beating! - but I give myself a pretty hard time. This in turn, leads me to start out thinking negatively on my next run, believing that I can't achieve what I really want to before I even try, which in turn leads to a big self-deprecating circle of negative running belief... which I think probably looks something like this:

NRB: Negative Running Belief
 Whereas my new outlook looks like this:

PRB: Positive Running Belief
 I like my new outlook; it's making me run better, it's helping me achieve my goals, and I'm sure that I ache less! Okay, maybe not, but I'm definitely starting to become more 'at one with the pain'!... I'll let you know how that one goes after my 16 miles on Sunday! Until then, it's: P.R.B!

Distance: 3.9 miles - Club run: 8 x fast hill repeats with downhill recovery.
Weather: very cold (again!)
Feeling: Positive, strong and great!


  1. Fab post! I'm going to try your approach, Guru Maggie. Maybe you should bin the day job and run motivational seminars instead.

  2. Great blog. The power of the mind sometimes we forget that this has to be trained also.

  3. Ooooo... Guru Maggie... Do you think I could make that stick? I might try it with the kids at work tomorrow... I quite like the sound of that!

    The mind is a bizarre thing... mine most definitely... I was worrying so much about physical training, when actually what was holding me back was my mind... I'm trying extra hard to keep in the positive now! :-)

  4. Move to Wales, Every where we have hills.

    I am considering moving house before Juneathon this year as all my current runs finish up hill as our house is at the top.

    Well done on the PB and I hope your not hurting to much in the morning.

    PRB.. I like the sounds of that! You should trademark it.. :)

  5. Am loving the positivity! How many hill repeats did you do?? :)

  6. tee hee... EIGHT!! I totally did 8!!

    Martyn... I will not be going running anywhere near Wales! FACT! :-)... and I might just trademark it!!

  7. Great stuff - lovely post!
    Jules (@2011miles)

  8. Ow! What's wrong with Wales hey!

  9. Love it Maggiee - Congratulations!

    I find the key to maintaining PRB is to set a target for every single run.

    This frequently includes "experience" targets, such as "I will run through puddles" or "I will run slowly, and say hello to everyone".

    It gives you the grace to achieve results which aren't related to speed or distance, and that will help maintain PRB.

    How many hills? :D

  10. Yay! Well done you! Great post and sounds like a great session. Good luck with you 16 miler on Sunday. :-)

  11. Love it!
    Wishing you loads of PRB for your 16 miler on Sunday.

  12. Thanks for your kind words and good luck wishes for Sunday... I'm really psyched about it now and looking forward to getting out on my next longest run ever!

    Gary - I love that idea, I'm going to add it in to my PRB training

    and Martyn - I LOVE Wales... but I don't love hills... ergo I will never run in Wales!! ;-)

  13. PS... I did EIGHT! hill repeats!! 8!!!! woop! :-)

  14. WOO HOO Maggiee on doing EIGHT hill repeats!! Outstanding effort!!! VERY, VERY COOL!!!

    And yes, PRB definitely makes a difference to how you do. You can actually train your mind, just like you train your body, to help boost your performance with a variety of different mental skills and strategies.

    Every time you have a 'negative' type of thought like this is hard, I can't do this, I'm not up for it today, actually physically detracts from your performance effort ... regardless of what level of runner you are!

    If you have 'positive' types of thoughts such as I can do this, I am doing this, I am strong, I am powerful, I am confident, I am invincible ... that will actually enhance your performance!

    Seriously, every time you have a negative thought, it 'weakens' your body. Every time you have a positive thought, it 'strengthens' your body!

    In the context of running, you can experience the difference!! Just try standing up from a seated position while repeating the 'negative' type of words and then the 'positive' type of words ... and see what the difference is yourself!

  15. Thanks Midgie. I'm going to keep working at this and totally change the way I think, I'm going to set myself some achieveable targets and work towards them with nothing but positive thoughts... like K, as in cake has done on her run today :-)

    And thanks for making me feel good again... I feel proud all over again! :-)

  16. What a fab idea. I'm all about approaching life positively - I believe you can choose how to react to every situation and whether to get up happy or grumpy in the mornings! But i'd never translated that to my running for some reason - I am sooooo going going to adopt it! Thanks for being so inspirational.

  17. PS yay to Febathon - but can I just have ONE days rest first please - and fridays off!

  18. Aces aces aces post.
    Thank you!
    Loving that Janathon is generating acronyms - WWRD, PRB - all good!!


Thanks for reading... feel free to leave me a message. Maggiee x