Saturday was my second long run of Chicago Marathon training.
…and it was a far more ‘mental’ 9 miles than I would’ve liked.
This after just virtually cheering on this girl through her longer and longer ‘long’ runs leading to her first half marathon, and reminding her to get out of her head and to just trust her body — and here I am struggling with the exact same thing.
That’s what I was thinking about while I struggled to get out of my head on Saturday. I didn’t talk much at all to Scott, was too busy mentally chiding myself for allowing my brain to take over. This mental mind game went on for a good 4-5 miles before I finally said something to Scott.
“I’m having a mental day today.”
To which Scott said: “Stop. It’s a beautiful day. We’re spending time together. It’s been a busy week. Just enjoy this time.”
Just that simple comment was what I needed to start turning things around up in my head. I won’t say that it was a sudden ‘lightbulb moment’ or anything, but it helped me to start to pull myself out of my head and to truly see the beauty around me while starting to let my body work, my mind wander.
…vs. letting my mind ‘work’ and my body suffer for it.
It helped that the weather was ideal for this run. It was low 60s, very breezy, bright sunshine — downright gorgeous. It also helped to be running along one of our favorite routes, right by the water for portions of it — seeing the sun glisten on the water, the boats floating around out there on their slips, so effortlessly and calmly. Just seeing the serene waters helped me to calm down.
We wound up doing an extra loop on our return trek back over the bridge to give the bridge time to go back down after letting a boat pass through. This switch-up helped me tremendously. It meant that after we crossed the bridge, making our way back home — we only had a couple of miles to go which helped me to get the whole “long run” anxiety out of my system. Now we were just running home, essentially.
It’s those little mental tricks that sometimes make all the difference in a mental run like Saturday’s. The comment from Scott, plus the switch up in our route, and I was able to overcome the mental shenanigans going on in my head.
And when all was said and done? We rounded that last corner and made our way home — and I felt great. I didn’t feel like I’d just run 9 miles. Sure, I needed to stretch (like whoa), but other than that? I felt strong and totally conditioned for the distance. Which, after the fact, really boosted my confidence.
I just have to remember that not every run is going to be without it’s bumps and bruises — and every single run will teach me something new about myself and my abilities as a runner.
…2 weeks down, 16 to go. Whoa. 😉