Four days after I didn’t run a sub-5 hour marathon, my adrenaline and my stubbornness teamed up to get the better of me and I registered for another full. I knew I had 5 hours in me. I still do. But, I had barely caught my breath after the Cowtown and I thought I was ready to gear up for another one.

I was wrong. Very, very wrong.

I was certain that registering for Marathon #4 would force me to focus. It would force me to maintain my training for another six weeks. Disciplined.  5 hours in my sights.

But it just wasn’t like that.

For some time now I’ve understood that running is a mental game. Distance running, for sure. Last year, I posted this quote on my dresser at home —

You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body is never tired if the mind is not tired.
-General George S. Patton

As the first few weeks after Cowtown passed and I knew I had to get in gear if I had any hope of 5 hours in April — I just couldn’t get my head in the game. I still wanted to chop that pesky 16 minutes off my time, but I just couldn’t get my brain and my legs to cooperate at the same time. My legs were tired — we’d done THREE 20+ milers in training — and my brain just switched to ‘off season’.

And I had already registered. The weight of knowing I’d already committed myself to another race – was ridiculous.  So I pulled the plug. Well, “halfway” pulled the plug. I contacted the race director and switched my registration from the full to the half. Suddenly, I was actually looking forward to running again! A half! I can do that!

And THEN I let my running over-confidence get the best of me, and I slacked. I became one big excuse.  Not enough sleep, too busy at work, the weather is bad. Suddenly, it was T-minus 20 days until the race and I hadn’t reeeeeally done the training I should have done.

Yesterday. I used all the excuses and the stress and the guilt of the last few weeks as fuel — and I ran. I probably bit off more than I should have, but the weather was perfect and I NEEDED that run. My brain needed it. My legs needed it. My confidence needed it.

I’m running a half marathon in 19 days. (And maaaaaybe one before that.)  And I’ll be ready.

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8 thoughts on “I still run

  1. I get so frustrated about my pace sometimes! Even when I know I’ve trained as hard as I could have for the race. I was so bummed after my last marathon because I was 45 minutes SLOWER than my goal time. What I need to starting saying to myself is “LISA, you just finished a freakin’ race! What are you whining about?!”

    1. I know! It warps your brain! You start thinking 10 miles is a “short run”!

  2. Good on you! Keep it up!

    1. Thanks, Jamie! I appreciate the support!

  3. Don’t forget no matter how slow you go, you’re still lapping all of us on the couch!

    1. Ha! My hubby is always reminding me of that. “Lappin’ everybody on the couch!” :)

  4. Oh yes, running is so incredibly mental. I swear sometimes it feels like a constant battle between the mind, body and your heart. What you want most deep down vs what your body is screaming at you. I’ve been curious about Hogeye or Bentonville races but fear those hills! Thanks for stopping by my blog. So nice to “meet” another Arkansas blogger!!

    1. Naw! The hills are nothing once you run them 600 times :) You should come run Hogeye this weekend!

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