Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Mental Training

8 miles today. But really tough.

I managed to run out towards the water today, without getting lost. (Well actually, the path kind of forced me away from where I had planned to go, but I didn't get lost.) Also, because I followed the path today, it was actually pretty nice. There was an asphalt bike/running path almost the entire way. Just at the end, it veered through a little forest, and then came out in this residential neighborhood, with very little traffic.

So the route was nice. But what about the weather? Well that sucked. Big time.

I did wake up earlier than yesterday, but I guess not early enough. I was running by 8, but by then the temperature was 80 degrees! There was a cloudy sky, with actually a light rain coming down when I left, so I even wore a hat. Well that didn't last long. It was basically hot and muggy the entire run. I don't think I ever sweat that much before, even in the half marathons. When I got home, and peeled off my sopping clothes, I weighed 6 pounds less than when I left. 6 pounds!! (And that was with finishing my water bottle, which probably holds about a pound of water.)

So what about the title of this entry? Well, whenI was running I was feeling a little down on myself for how much I was stuggling. I was thinking that if 8 miles needs every last bit of energy I have, how will I ever finish the marathon? Then I told myself that it was because of the heat, and that I had felt pretty good running 13 miles just a few days ago. (Thanks Wil, this talking to yourself really helps.) So at 6 miles I took a quick walking break. After a couple of minutes I started back up planning to run another 2 miles.

That's when it really got tough. I really just wanted to stop running, and walk the rest of the way back. I had already rationalized that it wasn't my fault that it was so hard. And besides, I never told anyone I was going to run 8 miles. Hal Higdon has 7 scheduled, and what's wrong with 6 anyway?

That's where the mental training comes in. I know that in a little more than 2 months time I'll be 20 miles into the NYC Marathon. And I'm going to want to stop running. And I'll know that even if I walk the rest of the way and finish in 6 or 8 hours that it will still count as a finish. But no, no, no. I'm going to reach back in my mind, and remember today, where I pushed myself to run those last 2 miles. I'm going to remember the day where I was able to force my mind to keep going. And I'm going to keep running that marathon. And I'm going to finish strong. And I'm going to feel great about it.

7 Comments:

Blogger Wil said...

Awesome post! Way to pull yourself through when things got tough. File today, for sure, and pull it out again when you need it. Great job!!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2005  
Blogger Flatman said...

Woohoo! That's what I'm talkin' about!

Great job...

Wednesday, August 31, 2005  
Blogger a.maria said...

you ARE going to do it and you WILL feel amazing.

taking a cue from running chick, i've adopted some power words... Onward and After.

After especially works for me... when i'm running, and i'm wanting to stop and walk, or i'm already walking and dont want to start running again, i just think of what it feels like AFTER. how great it feels to know that i kept going. that i pushed. how great it is to be able to talk about my run to friends, or even post about it, and be able to be truely happy with myself for having not given up.
very powerful little words!

so... push onward and feel great after!

Thursday, September 01, 2005  
Blogger jeanne said...

You go, girlfriend!

After is the keyword, a.maria said it.

And for me, though maybe not for you, those walk breaks are key. You might consider them, at a really high ratio, like 10 min run/1 min walk or something, just for the long runs. They really really help my stamina.

But then, I'm old.:)

Thursday, September 01, 2005  
Blogger Danny said...

Thanks for everybody's words of strength!

I take walk breaks as needed. In the beginning I needed them more, but now I've stretched out the amount of time I can run before taking them. Sometimes it's a challenge to make myself go another mile before "rewarding" myself with another break.

In this particular run, I wanted to walk the entire last 2 miles. That's more than a break. It was willpower that kept me running to the end.

Thursday, September 01, 2005  
Blogger Brooklyn said...

I will only quote the book that helped me train for my first marathon:

"If walking helps you FINISH; then it's TRAINING."

Walk if you need to; finish you must.

Friday, September 02, 2005  
Blogger Running Chick said...

The mental battle is the biggest challenge of running. And it sounds like you are winning those battles. That will be your greatest weapon on marathon day.

Awesome job!

(p.s. - I stole 'After' from Mark and 'Onward' from Reba...gotta give credit where it's due)

Friday, September 02, 2005  

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