When I Feel Most Confident

No weekly training recap from last week because I can sum it up real quick: 2 easy runs and a long 13 miler haha. I decided to give my shins a few days of extra rest because I felt like if I was going to do it, now is a good time as I gear up for the taper, right?


A photo posted by Patty Rivas (@pattyrivas13) on

We ran 12 outside, then finished with 1 mile on the treadmill because it got dark. Like I said on Instagram…check out that elevation! It will be interested to run a flat race, since most of our training runs include hills, and any races we have ran in this area have all been hilly. The idea of a totally flat race (until the end) kinda makes me nervous!

Anyway, today I wanted to talk about a sort of revelation I had while I was on that 13 mile long run. I’ve written in the past about not feeling happy with my body, or wanting to lose weight…and I’m still in that mindset most days. I know I could lose 10-15 lbs, but also know during marathon training that is just not feasible.

When I look in the mirror I’m not 100% happy with what I see. In every day clothing, I am pulling at my shirt or wearing bigger shirts to hide my belly.

However, I realized the moment I put on my workout clothes, I feel confident. When I’m wearing my spandex shorts, I like the way my legs look in the mirror. I am reminded that these legs are strong and have carried me hundreds of miles.

I feel the most confident when my hair is up in a ponytail or brand and I am out there running. Despite my sweat dripping down my face and neck (remember I sweat A LOT?), my makeup-less face, etc. I feel strong and healthy. I love hearing my breathing and my steps on the pavement. I love making my body work hard…which is why I love track workouts so much.

I don’t know why I started thinking about this while running, but it just clicked. I may not be happy with how I look, BUT I am happy with my body’s abilities, and happy that I can run every day if I wanted to. Or lift, or whatever. I am the most happy and confident while running or at the gym. 

My goals for when this marathon is over is to continue running, but also start lifting again. I do want to try to lose some weight, so that it CAN help my running (racing weight or whatever haha), but I am slowly getting to a place where as long as I’m healthy and able to run, that is my number 1 priority. Yes, sometimes it sucks not being able to wear clothes I want to wear because I feel self conscious, but it’s not longer bumming me out like it used to.

Long, random post – so thanks for reading! I want to get your thoughts as well.

When do you feel the most confident in yourself?

How has running (or exercising in general) changed your perceptions/life?


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  1. I also feel the most confident in my active wear clothes. I spent hours in my closet last week looking for normal clothes to wear that I like. I don’t want to feel that way either. I go through phases where I do and other times I feel better. Remember your body you have now is getting you through those 26.2 miles so you gotta love it!
    Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…Southwestern Spaghetti Squash BoatsMy Profile

  2. I feel the most confident when I create an awesome playlist for my classes. When people smile and sing along it makes me feel great.
    Margo recently posted…Brooklyn Fit Chick Notes: “Like Water for Chocolate” 6 Bad Habits Fitness Instructors Want Students to Drop NOwMy Profile

  3. Very good perspective here. It is incredibly hard to lose weight when training for endurance events. I am 10-15 lbs over my mid-2012 weight when I started training for my first marathon. I am fitter and faster but also heavier which does impact the speed gains I can make on the run. I think you are smart to focus on your current training goals and think about incorporating more strength work later to build muscle and try to lose fat versus muscle. Very hard to do, so it is good for us to be confident in our bodies!
    Kelli recently posted…Crazy Amazing WeekendMy Profile

  4. I feel the same as you–when I put on my workout clothes, I feel like I can conquer the world! It doesn’t matter how old I am or that I am wrinkled. I don’t see all that. But when I put on my everyday clothes, well, it’s back to reality.

    Great post!
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…Marathon week 10: Run this TownMy Profile

  5. I absolutely agree with you! When I’m in my gym clothes and specifically at the gym I feel strong and confidant and beautiful. I try to recreate that feeling but it’s most natural at the gym.
    Becki S recently posted…Product Review: Journal Menu and GiveawayMy Profile

  6. When I started running marathons I gained! Taking this year off I dropped 15 and have to say it is easiest when running my lowest mileage and lifting more. Even now when I am on a break from the full distance and I am in the 35-40 miles a week I find I have to be VERY vigilant. I have already lost some muscle and am doing my best to keep it! But in general find more the more I lift the lighter I get. Too bad I love to run so much lol!
    Gianna @ Run, Lift, Repeat recently posted…Narrows Half Marathon RecapMy Profile

  7. I gained weight marathon training … but great for feeling great about what your body can do. I tend to feel the same away about how I look and I too am starting to look at my abilities instead of necessarily what I see in the mirror.
    Amy @ Will Run For Ice Cream recently posted…Jogging Strollers Freedom And Fresh AirMy Profile

  8. Running is definitely helped in making me a more confident person. I never thought I could run, but once I proved to myself that I could train for and run a half marathon, it reminded me that I’m stronger than I think I am and that I can do whatever I put my mind to.
    Kathryn @ Dancing to Running recently posted…Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon Training Log – Week 3My Profile

  9. yes, right there with ya! I’m definitely most confident in my workout clothes. Now that I work from home I can wear them more often. I too gained weight a year ago training for my marathon. It’s been so difficult to get it off and has affected my speed but I’ve gained a new perspective for sure which has helped in my approach!
    Mar @ Mar on the Run recently posted…Milwaukee Half Training Week 4My Profile

  10. I think you are going to love racing flat. For us, we train flat all the time (it’s hard to get in any kind of elevation, although we do our best), and then it’s just a butt-kicking when we hit real hills.

    I love this post. I feel most confident when I’m doing something I never thought I could. When I’m running or working out, i feel strong and I don’t care about a little extra fat or thickness.
    Jenn recently posted…week in review: 9.20 – 9.26My Profile

  11. I too feel confident in workout clothes and its where I can’t hide anything!!! But it’s about knowing I am doing something I couldn’t do before. I feel the most confident when teaching someone anything … from math to my kids, to swimming to a friend. I love sharing what I have been given.
    Cristina recently posted…Review: PUMA IgniteXT and GearMy Profile

  12. I’m pretty much you just wrote exactly what is in my brain. I’m so uncomfortable in my skin in regular clothes!! I feel the most confident with messy hair, no makeup, tights and running shoes!
    Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…MCM Training REcap–Week 12 & #BOSUChallenge Week 3My Profile

  13. I love this!!! And agree – I feel the most confident when I’m make-up free with my hair in a messy braid laughing like a crazy person at my podcasts while I run in my amazing city :)
    <3 YOU!
    Nicole @ Fitful Focus recently posted…Gluten-Free Banana BreadMy Profile

  14. Love this post Patty! I totally agree with you: when I’m ready to or just finished working out, I’m my most confident.
    Marcia recently posted…Taper Violations and a Miracle…MaybeMy Profile

  15. Way to tackle the 13 miler. I’m not evem thinking about race weight right now that I’ve dropped my goal race
    Carmy recently posted…Monday on the Run #31My Profile

  16. Love, love, love this! I feel most confident in my workout clothes too and I think it is because it is me… that is who I am. I have no problem going straight from the gym to the grocery store or even to my husband’s office. I think this also stems from growing up an athlete because after games we would go out to dinner all sweaty- no time to get dolled up.

  17. Beautiful post! That’s such a great way of looking at things. I struggled during my triathlon training as well because after trying to reach racing weight for awhile I realized my performance was suffering so I stepped up my food game haha. I was a little unhappy with how I looked after, but when I reminded myself of all the awesome training feats I accomplished I felt better!

    Your goal of incorporating strength training to help out your running is a great one, and I think you will find the body composition changes will follow!
    Ariana recently posted…Review of Vima Running AppMy Profile

  18. Running and fitness have changed my perspective of me and having a greater appreciation for what my body can do. Boom!
    jill conyers recently posted…Nourishing Nut & Seed BarsMy Profile

  19. Great post! I actually feel the same way you do, a little unhappy with how I look it super confident whenever I work out!
    Toni recently posted…Running with Hemp Heart Bites #HHBitesMy Profile

  20. I had a friend once comment that I should dressup/wear makeup more often. I said “why?” She responded with “so you feel good about yourself.” I flippantly answered “running does that for me.”

    And then I realized that it does exactly that.
    MCM Mama Runs recently posted…TOTR: Running must havesMy Profile

  21. hmmmm…i feel pretty confident in general. not in a “i think i’m the shit” kind of way but in a “i really like myself and who i am” kind of way. i spend 90% of my time in workout clothes now because i work from home. but what i wear doesn’t really affect my confidence. it’s more of an attitude and internal thing for me.
    courtney @ eat pray run dc recently posted…August Blog Stats and IncomeMy Profile

  22. I used to worry about what people thought about me when I was running outside. I am older (44) and I wear shorts and tanks. Then I thought who cares, I like how I look in the shorts and I have done so much with my legs. I just don’t care I have just recently decided not to care. This is an awesome read, Thanks
    heather recently posted…My life latelyMy Profile

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