Mental Game

I showed up Saturday morning for our long run. I got out of the car and immediately warned Jennifer, “I don’t wanna be here.”

Attitude is everything, right?

I’d spent most of the week enduring the stomach funk that’s been “going around” so I hadn’t been eating the right things or sleeping well. And it took a serious self pep talk from the moment the alarm went off that morning to even make it to the trail.

We’ve had such a strong training cycle for this race.

I want 5 hours. Bad.

Every run counts. Every mile counts.

(I thought) I knew I’d feel better if I could just get out there. Just lace up the shoes and start running. Your stomach will cooperate. Your legs need to run.

We originally had 20 miles on the schedule for Saturday. And by schedule I mean the tentative-at-best, written-in-pencil plan we’ve been following this time. Mostly, the “plan” was to get up to the 18-20 mile range and stay there for a few weeks.  20 miles last Saturday, 20 miles again this Saturday. Conditioning our legs to be fatigued and our minds ready to quit. The more familiar you are with that feeling – the better you are at beating it.

Saturday, I knew I needed that. And my mind needed it more than my legs. My mind mental gameneeded to be out there for a long run when my attitude was, “I don’t wanna be here.”

So we cut back from 20 to 15. Better a strong 15 than a miserable 20. And we ran. 15 miles to remember why I’ve worked so hard to get here. 15 miles to remember why I wanted to be here in the first place. We kept our pace and finished strong.

“I don’t wanna be here” will sneak up on you.  No training plan I’ve ever seen has days built in for “mental training” or “check your attitude”. Each of us gets to learn that lesson all on our own.

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One Response to Mental Game

  1. Amanda C. January 28, 2013 at 11:25 am #

    Been there. Proud of you for getting your run in, and a solid 15 is definitely better than a lousy 20. Good on ya, my friend.

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