I think it’s pretty wildly known that most of the effort required for distance running is mental.
My body will get bored or distracted long before it’s truly spent, meaning I have to find ways to either talk myself up or, in the case of being genuinely tired, find something to take my mind off of that fact for the last half mile.
A mental pep talk, if you will.
Last night I finally took advantage of the glorious weather we’ve been having and ran on a nearby middle school track. Being outside (instead of trapped on my usual hamster whee-er treadmill was a welcome change. Plus, there were about 300 elementary-aged girls on the field practicing for cheerleading, so that provided some amusement as well.
Despite the more pleasant environment, however, I still felt my will to run flagging around the beginning of the fourth mile.
I think it helps that I know I have to run 13.1 miles in about a month and a half. That unchanging fact makes it easier for me to he disciplined and stick to my training schedule (AKA, plod onward despite wanting to stop). But it doesn’t mean I don’t start blessing about the moment when I actually get to stop, which I think can be just as bad.
To distract myself, I’ll either sterff making up stories about people around me (something I usually do even out of running shoes) or I’ll have a “conversation” in my head about how “you’re not really tired, you can do it, only three more laps to go!”
It’s probably good I’m the only one inside my head.
For the record, I did not stop and I finished all four miles. Saturday I have to run five, which will mark the farthest distance I’ve ever run all at one time. Eek!
Anyone wanna follow me around yelling, “You can do eet!” while I train? …anyone?