Friday, August 14, 2015

The Mental Games

This morning I had 9 miles on the calendar. I know I should probably listen to the training plan, but that would have put me at under 30 miles for the week and that is just too few for me, especially when I'm marathon training... So I decided to kick it up a bit and shoot for 15.

Thanks to my friendly reminders from accountability partners last night, I was in by bed 9:45pm! Long runs tend to be easier when your body is well rested - who woulda thunk?! Although I got a little extra time in bed last night, I probably should have started my run this morning earlier than I did... I ended up waiting till the hubby left for work, had to walk the dog, and then headed out to pound the pavement, which didn't get me out the door till almost 8:45am.

Oh yeah, and in case you didn't know, we are getting ANOTHER heatwave this weekend... (As long as it doesn't bring with it humidity I would be fine, but that doesn't sound like it will be the case.) It was already 86% humidity and 82 degrees when I started - OUCH! 

With the weather being a butthead, I knew I was going to have to slow my run way down. I decided I wouldn't even look at my pace, but just glance at my watch every once in a while to see when I needed to take my PROBAR BOLT energy chews or when to flip around (I decided to run out 7.5 miles and then back, rather than my normal bike path/ beach loop).

There are two traffic lights on the way to the bike trail (which I hit again on the way back home) and then I stopped to take my PROBAR BOLT energy chews at mile 6 and 12, so technically I stopped my watch and took mini breaks six times along my run, but I wanted to stop MANY MORE times than that.

Stopped at mile 6 and 12 to take some chews (5 at each stop)

Today's run was all about the mental games! I know running 10 minute miles will not make me faster on race day (shoot, my long run pace should be closer to 9 minutes per mile {without taking the weather into account of course}), but I believe that pushing through when I wanted to throw in the towel will make me a stronger runner (at least mentally) come race day.

Sometimes running slower is harder than running faster...

For me, if I take a break during a run (other than for say a red light or to fill my water bottle), it is MUCH EASIER to continue to stop. Because I know that about myself, I had to REALLY PUSH so that I wouldn't give myself an out and take unnecessary breaks. One thing that helped today was that I had to work at 2pm, so even though I would have been "okay" stopping when I hit mile 9 since that's what was on my schedule, I knew I wouldn't have had time to walk the 6 miles back to the house before my shift started.

Thankful that my first stop was near an overpass, so I was
able to hide in the shade while I gobbled down my chews.

PS Please hear me. I am NOT saying you should push through pain or injury just to get in miles. I totally listened to my body today and had to slow my pace down considerably (which, let's be honest, frustrates the crap out of me). What I AM saying is that your mind will often give up before your body will. Running is absolutely a mental sport and sometimes it is about training your brain more than training your legs - showing yourself what you can do, how hard you can push, what your body is capable of, etc. Yes my legs were tired and I was hot, sweaty and salty, but I didn't technically "need" to stop, I just wanted a break.

Some of the necessities for today's 15 miler: Nathan Hydration Vest, PROBAR BOLT
energy chews
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 15 (complete with Sparkle Athletic Shwings),
a new Run With Perseverance tank, and Pro Compression PC Runners.

But I have to remind myself: A. this is something I ENJOY doing, B. no one will push me, I've gotta do it myself (but if anyone was thinking about offering me a piggy-back ride for the REVEL Canyon City Marathon and can finish with me on their back in under 3:35 I will NOT turn them down), and C. there are folks unable to run, each and every step is a GIFT that should NOT be taken lightly!

What sort of mental games do you play with yourself while you are running?


Scarabocchio Girl said...

I totally agree with you. Today went for a fast but short run, it's on my schedule. In the beginning I've pushed it too hard, I think, so when it was time go back, my legs felt as heavy as rocks. Terrible! But I wanted to keep a good pace, so I've started to think about different things, from work to where I will go on holiday. It was hard, but if I let my mind start to think that I can't make it, I really can't make it. I've just thought "One step and another more" and then I've finished, satisfied, very tired, but with a good time. :) And I've felt very good then!

That Girl said...

I have the same problem, once I walk, I have a hard time getting back up to a run. (Then again, when I went out today it was 96 degrees and I figured even walking once in a while was okay, because at least I got out!)