“All up in my head” for 8.5

These are happy feet. Tired. But happy.

8.5 miles later — and all told? A very “all up in my head” kind of run.

“Man, my legs are tired. I really need to stick to the two days on/two days off running schedule.”

“If I’m *this* tired and we’re ‘only’ running 8.5 today, how the eff am I ever going to get through 10, 15, 20 milers once we start marathon training?”

“Is that my knee that hurts? Or am I completely making that up.”

“Nope, knee is fine, but my hips are so, so, so tight. Must stretch when we get back.”

“When are we gonna be done? This last mile and a half feels.like.forever.”

And so on, and so forth.

Physically this long run felt much tougher than it should have.  I got plenty of sleep the night prior, was well hydrated, even had pizza for dinner for an added carb-boost in the AM. My body was in good shape to run today.

It was my mind that didn’t get the memo.

It was all over the place. Clearly, as evidenced by the above. And I think I’ve gotten to the root of it: the marathon looming is freaking me out.

I’m a total head case because my mind automatically goes to the miles involved in full marathon training. And right now – this brain of mine simply cannot fathom such long distances.

But really? It shouldn’t fathom such long distances (yet), nor should it be thinking that far ahead. I still have months and months until training begins for Chigago.

Right now, my eye needs to be on the near-term prize: May 6th and the Cox Providence Rhode Race half marathon.
Nothing else.

Lesson learned from this weekend’s long run? Get that eye on the prize, shut down the mental mind games, and just go for it. Run hard, but run free. Build that mental toughness for May 6. Stop thinking about Chicago. Loads of time to be thinking about that.

Annnnnd end giant ‘note to self’ in blog post form. 😉


32 thoughts on ““All up in my head” for 8.5

    • They totally can be way more mentally draining than physically draining, kind of ironic, right? But it’s those runs that can make or break you on race day, right?

      LOVE the reminder to stay present during my run vs. letting my mind freak out on me like it did on Saturday. THANK YOU for reminding me!!

  1. I am sure it was hard NOT to let your mind slide to 26.2 when you were already toughing it out at 8.5. But think about our run the day prior, those miles whizzed by. And you are strong and capable. And with each .5-1 mile increment you add, you won’t even notice till suddenly, you’re running wicked long!! You got this sis 😉

    • It’s like my mind naturally goes to the 26.2 zone when I run now. Which sometimes can be motivating, but other times it totally drags me down and gets me all freaked out which is no good in my book. You’re right – I’m inching up slowly on the miles so before I even realize it, I’ll be well into the double digits and my body will just adjust naturally. I gotta trust my body!!

  2. I’ve had to battle the mind game many times during training! It is so hard getting stuck in your own head!

    • That’s true – I think because I haven’t been in “race” mode for so long that I’m freaking myself out over EVERYTHING right now which is just silly. I need to focus on the near-term goal which is the race on May 6th and nothing else. And just ENJOY the process vs. freaking out over the process which is what I’ve been doing lately.

  3. Long runs are mentally draining but do get easier as time goes on. Once you get to 16 and 18 milers, 13 miles will be a breeze and go by so quickly!! Focus on the run at hand and you’ll be ok!

  4. Yep, when you start thinking ahead and thinking about things being or seeming impossible before you even try…it all adds up to disaster. Just think about the mile you’re in right? And there are always going to be those runs that are just flat out harder. Period. It’s ok though. You already realize why this one was harder so that’s the important thing.

    • Disaster – exactly!! I don’t want to let my mind interfere with what my body is doing. I want my next long run to be mentally and physically strong. Sticking to the mile I’m in (a mantra I TRIED to chant during this run but it just wasn’t working) and that is IT.

  5. Ugh, I think we were in the same place during our long runs this weekend. I can’t stop thinking about my upcoming race. So silly. Focus on the present, Heather!! 🙂
    But, like everyone says, we earn our hard runs. The easy runs are just icing on the cake.

    • Whew – at least I wasn’t alone on the mentally challenging run thang this weekend. It IS silly if you think about it – stay present, stay present, stay present!! We both got this!!!

    • Actually – I did think about that on this run. Our route took us past a 5k loop we used to run all the time when we first started running. And MAN did that 5k feel like forever back then. Now? A 5k is a “breeze” in comparison. So funny what perspective does…which I suppose I should totally remember when I start upping the miles for the full marathon (NOT that I’m thinking about the full right now, nope, not doing it. la la la la. hehe).

  6. Your sister’s blog post complements YOUR post today:-)
    Don’t look at the whole training plan, just focus on the day you are in. Good advice given to me by run coach—–>”Run the mile that you are in!” That’s all you have to do;-) One foot in front of the other. Pretty soon you will look back and that 10 miles that you have on the plan will seem like a piece of cake. Promise!

    • So funny how alike we are, huh? You’d think we were related or something 😉

      I know…you’re right, I cannot look at the whole training plan. I need to go run by run, week by week, and nothing else. I have this nasty habit of letting my mind race ahead of me all the time. I must quiet the mind, big time! One foot in front of the other — awesome perspective!! thank you girl!!

  7. Sometimes it is so hard to stay focused on the things that come next instead of the bigger (maybe scarier) things that are further in the future. Reflecting on it will definitely help!
    Even though you’re not thinking about it yet, I know you’ll do great on the marathon because you will be SO prepared! 🙂

    • I have a really bad habit of doing that – of jumping ahead to the next big thing vs. focusing on the present, on trusting the process. I need to take my own advice on this one…I’m always telling others to “trust the process” and now I’m ignoring it. Hello!?

  8. Don’t let Chicago get in your head – yes, you have PLENTY of time to train, and YES those distances are daunting, but you’re strong and you’re fully capable, and have nothing to worry about!

    • I pretty much need to forget about Chicago entirely for the time being. It’s NOT my next goal. It’s months and months away. I have LOTS to accomplish and look forward to and to experience before then. Present. Present. Present!

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