Letting Go of Control; Trust Your Instincts

Mental Training

You may have noticed I have been very quiet over the last few weeks. Or maybe you haven’t. Either way, it is okay, but lets just say I have been a little off…..with everything in my life.

I have not really had any interest in talking to people; my family, friends, even Steve sometimes. I had not really had any interest in my blog or social media. On saturday morning I sat staring at the blinking cursor on a blank page for probably 45 minutes. That has never happened to me before, and I didn’t like it.

I just felt very subdued. It was mostly because a lot of the things in my life that have been stressing me out, are things that I cannot control. I HATTTTTEEEE that, but that is life. There are going to be things that are out of our hands, and all we can do is trust the path to unfold in front of us, and see what happens.

Obviously, the biggest factor that is was affecting me was the World Half Marathon Championships. This means more to me than any of my other running goals, and to be this close, knowing that I am one of the people they are considering, it has been very tough not to get carried away and obsess over what they are going to do.

And I am not going to lie. Over these past few weeks, there have been times I have. I have obsessed over reading between the lines on their emails. I have scoured the internet finding everything I could on various runners. Most of all, I have been obsessing over what I was going to do to prove to them that I am ready, to show them that giving me this opportunity would be a good choice.

I was emotional, and a bit of a rollercoaster of moods, but finally, when I saw my sleep therapist last week (I have not been sleeping well, shocker right?!), she made things click a little for me.

I have NO control over many of the areas of my life right now, this one being the most prominent, and I do not handle that very well.

She made me realize that this does not say anything about who I am. I mean, deep down, of course I knew that. I am still me, and those people who love me, will love me regardless of whether I do (or ever) get selected for the Great Britain team, BUT she made me see that I have to just trust that I am doing all that I can to be ready, my body does not know the difference between being on a pace that they would consider fast enough, and a pace that is not. All my body knows is how to do the best it can…..based on what my mind will allow it to do.

Somehow, that went through. Also because I have some other wonderful people in my life who knew what to say at the right time to make that really drill home.

So this weekend, I flew down to New Orleans to race in the Rock n Roll New Orleans 10k.

After paying $770(!!!!) for a flight down there, knowing it was not going to be a high quality race, but it was the best chance we had for a fast time. It was difficult not to let the pressure pile on, but somehow, the weight was lifted.

I knew myself, and I knew that all I needed to do was “just run”. Steve gave me no instructions, no pacing, no guidance. We both knew that the way to allow me to run my best was just to go out there and trust my instincts, like I do best.

So I did.

I ran a 34:27 and finished 1st woman, 2nd overall.

Tina RNR NOLA

My miles ranged between 5:29 and 5:33 (according to my Garmin), how is that for consistency!

I am not sure if that is fast enough for Great Britain. I am not sure if I will be selected, but I feel a huge weight off my shoulders now that I know it is out of my hands. I have done the best I can in a race where there was no competition, at the end of an 86 mile week.

I do not know what they will decide, but my shoulders feel 10lbs lighter, just because I can now finally believe, what is meant to be, will be.

What have you had to learn to let go?

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28 Comments.

  • carla birnberg
    February 29, 2016 5:32 am

    this really resonates me and is why I keep returning to your writing even though I dont run. Ive had to let go of a LOT recently when it comes to expectations about a certain relationship and YES YES it’s a weight removed.

  • I cannot relate to racing and winning with speed like you have but I can relate to feeling miserable when I don’t have control over things in my life. I think you received the best possible advice at just the right time and presto! I could not be happier for you and I was smiling so big when I saw your race announcement on FB!!!! The best is yet to come… 🙂

  • Lisa@runningoutofwine
    February 29, 2016 6:14 am

    Congrats on running such an amazing race! It is so hard to feel that lack of control, I don’t do well with it either. Glad you were able to recognize that you have done all you can!

  • I hate not having control of things and this is from someone who is not a Type A person at all! But when you know that you have done everything YOU could do, then it’s time to let it be. I’m glad you feel lighter because I hate when my friends are not feeling like themselves. And btw – CONGRATS ON THE WIN!!!!!

  • So proud of you Tina and you very much deserve that race. I think you made the right choice. Sometimes we just have to let go and figure out what is best for us. Even when we might not know!

  • Congratulations first of all, and I was in Nola this weekend as well! I have really had to learn to let go in the past few months. I broke my back, for crying out loud. I am about to try to have a baby. I got laid off. I can’t control life, I can only control my reactions to the situations that I find myself in.

  • Ellen Sinopoulou
    February 29, 2016 8:20 am

    I hear you… I really really don’t like not being able to control things either… but I think you have the right attitude about it! Just believe in it, know you did all you could ang gave it 100% and then just let it go 🙂

  • So proud of you Tina! That is amazing. I hope it is enough for Great Britain – fingers crossed. I can relate to those “off” weeks. It happens to everyone, but maybe especially to those of us who are always going, going going!

  • Oh wow congratulations – whatever happens, that is a FANTASTIC time and you did yourself very proud. I think the way GB picks it’s Olympians is ridiculous as it seems to complex and not very clear-cut but you definitely deserve to represent us. You’re such a great role model and a bloody amazing runner.

  • You are so amazing. I was out at my cabin but I saw your instagram post and almost cried tears of joy, you killed it girl! And way to go on getting a handle on the control issue, it’s really a struggle but it sounds like you’re on the right track.

  • Congratulations! It can be super tough to let your mind go with so many uncertainties ahead (I’m going through a similar thing), but once you do, it’s such a relief! I’ve learned that when a decision/my fate is in someone else’s hands, it’s best to let go and know that whatever decision is made happens for a reason

  • Martina Di Marco
    February 29, 2016 10:33 am

    Glad you are feeling better Tina and congrats on a great race! Take care of yourself now :*

  • It is hard to let go. It is hard to not have control and know what the outcome is going to be. We all struggle with this, so you are not alone. Lately for me it has been about food and eating. It is stressful, a energy zapper, and a major buzz kill. This week I am letting go of the control…at least trying too…and re-evaluating where and why this is happening. CONGRATS ON A HUGE WIN this past weekend! XOXO

  • Tina, I was so happy for you when I saw your announcement that you won! And that you were only 9 seconds behind the male winner, that is such an incredible achievement. You did all you could and I’m even happier for you that a weight has been lifted for you and you are able to let it all just unfold. If it’s not enough for Great Britain then they are crazy. xoxo

  • Wow that’s quite the finish! congrats! Stressing about things we can’t control only makes us more stressed right. Hope you are feeling better this week

  • Congratulations on a great race- sounds like you did a good job pacing and “just running”. Sometimes you have to trust yourself, you are stronger than you think… and no matter what happens those who matter will still love you. You have inspired a lot of people through this blog whether you make the team or not.

  • Congrats on the win! You’re so inspiring, both for the win and for your openness. I definitely empathize with you on the struggle to let go of control – no matter where we are in life it’s hard. I’m so happy for you and excited for what is to come next!

  • Good job! Oh the letting go! We runners are a bit high strung, Type A personalities, and control freaks. it’s what makes us dedicated to our sport but it can also bite us sometimes. Stick with it! You’re awesome!

  • So excited to hear about your amazing finish, and so sorry to hear that you’ve been struggling so much. I hope that these chats with your sleep therapist are able to help you let go of some of the things that are stressing you. I’ll be thinking of you! <3

  • Tina you are so strong and so talented, sometimes the biggest race to come queries is just our own mentality; when we begin to take running for granted we impose standards on ourselves. Go back to the roots and just appreciate that you have LEGS to be able to run!!

  • I suspect you might be coming down from all the excitement and controlled squeeze of your Honeymoon, the Holidays, your Sister’s wedding, and all the emotions engendered (and don’t dismiss jet lag). You controlled where you went, when you went, who you saw or didn’t, when you trained, what you ate, etc., and there was little if no pressure; you were naught but a feather on the breeze! I could read you LOVED every second of it, and I was so happy for you, a hard worker’s recompense:).

    I immediately had flash-backs to your feb17 post ‘burning the candle at both ends’ as I read the 1st few lines of this post. I used to BTCABEnds until I realized it’s not about the physical training, it’s about the psychological burnout that comes with it, [and doing too much other stuff (all the time!)]. It just adds up to too much stress, especially with sleep disturbance.

    I learned to quiet my mind, to thrive in ‘controlled chaos’. How? I have a mantra I took from lyrics to this song:

    https://youtu.be/LCRZZC-DH7M

    “Is that all there is?
    If that’s all there is my friend,
    then let’s keep dancing, let’s break out the booze, and….”.

    It really drives home the futility of stressing over stuff, Big and small!

    Right now, I’m dealing with trashing my knee 9 days ago running (too fast, too soon- stupid Ego!), so I’m fresh into dealing with what I can’t control and accepting it [it does help being a Triathlete, I’m swimming and biking a heap:)]! I have my 1st 5k race on March 13, and LosAngeles County Lifeguard academy coming up in April, so I might be screwed!!!!!!!!!!

    $770 and winning that 10k is the best thing you could possibly have done for yourself (& Steve). You’re happy, He’s happy, We’re all happy because you will write lots of great posts now:)

    By the way: you’re waaaaaay faster than 5.33pc for 10k, I wouldn’t say you are anywhere near rested after an 86Mile week, and you’re 10pounds lighter now to boot!

  • So, so excited for you and your amazing race. It is so true that when we just let go we often do our best. It’s easier said than done, but I am beyond thrilled that your hard work paid off. I hope you’re able to go to sleep with a little less stress and pressure than you were feeling before you wrote this. Try not to be so hard on yourself. Sending you a big hug and a huge high five. xoxo

  • Michelle@Running with Attitude
    February 29, 2016 7:20 pm

    Congrats Tina! I’m so happy that you recognize that you’ve done you can. It is so very stressful to not feel in control – good for you for being able to let it go.

  • Congrats on running that amazing race and feeling a bit better! I can’t imagine how hard it must be to wait for a decision like that, but it sounds like you did everything you could and all you can do is be confident in that. Good luck and I can’t wait to hear what they have to say!

  • I am so, so happy for you!! You went out there and did what you knew you had to do. You killed it!! All your hard work and constant dedication is so amazing and it’s giving great rewards. I really hope they chose you for the team, Tina!! I think we all go through times of stress and worry and it works out so much better when we let go. Fingers double crossed for you!!! xo

  • Christine Suter
    March 1, 2016 7:35 am

    Congratulations, Tina! I am so happy for you! Your hard work has definitely paid off and hopefully you can relax a bit more knowing you have given this race season your best. Sleep is huge for me as well and sometimes I’m able to get out of my head when I’m well rested and connected with my people. Like you, I can often retreat from people a bit and that usually means I’m overthinking everything.

  • Christine @ Love, Life, Surf
    March 1, 2016 9:42 am

    First, congrats on your win!! I was so happy when I saw your photo and update. And not having control? I don’t like it one bit, especially when it’s something that means so much to you. Learning to let go is hard but knowing that you did all that you could to put you in the best position possible makes it a little easier (tho still not easy!!). Congrats again!!

  • Well done on a fantastic race Tina, I’m so happy for you & sending you lots of positive thoughts for selection! I worked my jacksy off to become a lawyer since I was in school & now I can’t get enough work to sustain it as a career & learning to let that go has been/ is a challenge. But I’m working on it!

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