Thursday, May 22, 2014

Tempo Thursday: Tips & Tricks to Overcoming the Mental Barrier

*Note: This post was originally started last Thursday. Yesterday, it was actually sunny. :-)

This morning I was feeling beyond tired. It had stormed all night so I didn't sleep well; the cat was going crazy due to the thunder I suppose, and the kid woke up too. When my alarm went off I debated on not getting up and going to the gym. But I got up and went anyway...then beat myself up because my run felt too hard. Running doesn't always feel easy. Especially when you're working towards a goal and feeling particularly exhausted. And if I want to qualify for Boston I'm going to have to suck it up and get comfortable being uncomfortable.
Comfortable being tired.
Being sore. 
Overcoming failure.
Like in life. The road isn't always smooth. 
On the flip side I will need to get comfortable...
Being STRONG. 
Accomplished. Confident. Winning. 
Never beat yourself up for getting up and going. Even if it wasn't your best. You still got up. 

I think back two years ago when I began training for my first marathon (OBX NC) and how excited and terrified I was. 26.2 is no puddle jump y'all. But after all was said and done, I had done it. I set my goals, worked toward each one, and accomplished my mission. I also look back on just how far I've come speed and training wise. My 'tempo' pace back then is now my slow, long run pace. Pretty incredible. I'm still not the fastest or will every be the greatest runner, but I can be the greatest me. So when I even begin to think about if I can qualify for Boston I remember just how hard it felt two years ago to even run a marathon but I still did it. And I plan on rocking my little corner of world again.

So according to Run Less, Run Faster, from the experts at FIRST, this is what it looks like I need to be able to run in order to realistically train to qualify for Boston:

 Ouch. This will not be easy. But I want this more than I want to give up.

Tips (& Tricks): Overcoming the Mental Barriers

**Think of where you were one (or more) years (or even months, weeks, days) ago and where you stand today. And not just with running progress. Progress in who you have become. 
8:40 min/mile was like a "medium tempo" pace for me, now it's a long run pace. What seemed so difficult a year or two ago now feels easier and comfortable. But we can not get there unless we push ourselves daily.

**Surround yourself with a support system of people who love you.
My sister is awesome!! She's been there for nearly every little race I've done and both marathons. She's the one who's always believed in me. Keeps my son when I run long. She is my biggest cheerleader.
And this year she ran 5k #2 and PRed herself!! Can I get a woot woot for the sister?! You also need to be a support for others. Let it go round full circle.

**Talk to yourself. Not like out load crazy person talk, When the run gets tough mentally tell yourself to run. Simply put. Just run. Press on. Push hard.

**Smile. It tricks your body into thinking it feels good.

**Read motivational books, quotes, magazines.
I got a lot of mental boost and toughness from the book Mind Gym by Gary Mack 
My friend Michelle found this for me! It's one of the bests. A trained mind is just as important, if not more, as a trained body. (1 Timothy 4:8)

**Remember your life is not just a marathon. Be a friend. A spouse. A parent. Be whatever it is you are besides an athlete. Don't neglect the others in your life. Always show appreciation for those in your circle. 

Last Saturday I ran the Tata Trot and even scored a PR. But what I failed to mention was that after I finished I saw a young girl, about second grade age, who was grabbing a cup of water trying to finish her third and final lap. I offered to run with her if she liked, to help encourage her to finish. She smiled and said yes! What does this have to do with anything?
Her name I later found out was, Savanna
Do you remember where the next marathon I wanted to run? 
Savanna, GA. 
I took this as a sign. It 26.2 time, Rock n' Roll Savanna, Georgia style.
So... I officially registered! That's right! On November 8, 2014 I will be a Mrs. {{{yaaaay!!}}} and a BQ hopeful. I will start the training June 20th, that's about a month earlier than I normally would, but this way I have lots of wiggle room to get all married and honeymooned and fun stuff like that.
2014 might just be my favorite year yet.
Your turn! What are your running and/or racing goals? Do you struggle with the mental training part and how do you overcome the mental barriers?

***Happy (& Blessed) Running!***

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