Monday, October 14, 2013

Winning the Mind Game

I recently read an article about mental toughness that, well, blew my mind! Wouldn't it have been awesome if I had remembered to save the link so I could share it here?.....(I'll be searching for it so I can - one of these days I'll figure it all out!!)

But anyway, it suggested that not rescheduling a tough workout because we're tired or aren't fueled properly. An 'off' workout like that, where we push through with the plan on run on legs or with a body that doesn't fully agree with our decision, is actually good for the mind muscle. It allows the brain to accept capabilities of our bodies that go beyond the boundaries previously set. Even though your times on that particular day/workout may not be what you wanted, you are accomplishing something even more important in the mental muscle area - you are teaching your mind to push on - and after all, isn't that how a PR is made??
**Disclaimer** Runners, who tend to NOT listen to the 'hurting' voice in their minds, DO NOT use this as validation to run through serious pain!!! If the pain is causing you to change your form, then it hurts too bad to run on!! This is also NOT a reason to SKIP REST DAYS!!!!

I was finally able to do 9 miles on Saturday and it felt great!! About 3 months ago, I did a few 10 mile 'long runs' and then I didn't let my body rest like it needed to and I got injured. I'm so excited to be back at that distance, but I do also get BORED really easily. It's also hard for me to get up at 4:00am every morning to squeeze in my yoga practice to help with strength and flexibility. But I've been working on some positive reinforcement to help keep me going:
1) Keeping the thoughts positive: 'Get comfortable with being uncomfortable' (thanks Jillian Michaels!) - really encourages me to push harder; "If I don't stop, this will pay off - don't stop now!"; "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."
2) Use fuel like a doggy treat! :) That was one way I stayed focused and broke up the mileage a little - rewarding myself every 3 miles with a couple of pieces of shot bloks. "As soon as I finish this set, I'll get 3 more....."


My 'treats'! ;)
Now, I just need some 'positive thinking' mantras to help me get through the REST of my day! All of my running related positive thoughts all center around my ABILITY to do something. I need to find something to say to myself when I'm doing something I really DON'T WANT TO DO! I know that if I approach it with the mindset that I don't want to be there, it's only going to make it worse, but my mind is also not going to fall for just repeating a lie - "I want to do this. I want to be here." just isn't going to cut it. My mind will call BS and go back to grumpy-land if I try that! (hmm...I'm not sure why my mind seems to be its own entity....) I think I need a vacation. No. I know I need one, but that's not going to happen until Thanksgiving week.... so until then, I need some positivity (is that a word?) injected into my life!!!

What are your long run tricks? Especially for water!? 

Now that my mileage is back up, I'm back to the water question - tried a belt and HATED it.... don't really want to carry water since that can lead to imbalances and injury + I can't carry enough! I'm thinking about driving ahead and stashing water bottles before I run....

Outside of running, how do you stay positive, focused and motivated??

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