Friday, August 9, 2013

Mind Games

They say running is 90% mental. Most things are. Which is a great saying for motivational t-shirts and Pinterest pins, but when it comes to the real world, I need practical examples to believe this type of mumbo jumbo.

Well, I got the full experience yesterday. And I'm a believer.

For starters, some fool (spoiler alert: it's me) is having a hard time acclimating to a working girl schedule, which means I snoozed the alarm about 2 times too many yesterday morning. Which meant no 6-miler before work. Which meant having to do it after work. Blehhh.

I had run two 4-milers since returning from vacation, and neither of them were pretty. My pace was surprisingly decent, given that I had taken off a week of training, but they didn't feel as "easy" as my 4-milers felt pre-vacation. I even walked during one of them (which I hadn't done in weeks). And I use the term "easy" loosely, because I huff and puff and have struggle moments on nearly every run. Anyway, the difficulty of those 4-milers had me doubting my ability to run 6 miles without dying or taking walk breaks.

So, yesterday at work was non-stop busy. And I was mad at myself for snoozing because I just wanted to get the run over with. But around mid-day, I realized that all was not lost just because I didn't run in the morning. That I still had the change to have a healthy lunch and drink my water and I could kick my 6-miler's ass as soon as I got home. And the whole train ride home, I just mentally pumped myself up about pounding the pavement for an hour, to prove to myself that I could.

And I did.

Don't get me wrong, there were definitely a few points where I contemplated walking. But otherwise, I felt damn good, and I'm convinced it's because before the run I told myself that it'd feel damn good. That I needed this long run both for my training, and to just leave it all on the pavement. And whaddya know? I did 6.2 miles in just 8 seconds off of my PR time.

This week has certainly been chaotic, but the mind is a powerful thing. And I fully plan on Jedi-mind-tricking myself into having a great 10-miler tomorrow.

How do you fight the running mind games?


  1. I find landmarks, like mailboxes, fire hydrants, etc. and tell myself, "you can make it to the next one" and once I'm there, I tell myself, "keep going, make it to the next one" and so on. I find focusing on those small distances, makes the longer distance feel smaller!

    Congrats on the 6 miles! That's awesome!

  2. Now THAT is dedication!Great job!! I do the same as Shannon, landmarks all the way :)


  3. I'm struggling with that right now too!! Good for you for still getting out there even when you didn't want to!!