Running is a mental battle…at least for me!

The mental aspect of running has always been my downfall.  Being able to believe in myself and what I can do isn’t the easiest for me.  That being said having a successful run is always a confidence booster.  Being able to prove to myself that I am capable of a good run is important to training.  I know their will be bad days and that is ok.  I just need runs like I had yesterday to remember that I can do this!!  Hopefully more of these runs will keep coming my way now that I am starting to break the habit of watching pace on my Garmin while I run!

So far in this training cycle I have learned a lot about myself.  Most importantly though, I can hold paces for longer when I don’t watch it on my Garmin.  If you read this post, you would know that I ran good and pretty evenly paced once I stopped watching my Garmin on my long run last Saturday.  So last night I did the same thing.  I started my Garmin and only looked at it when it beeped to let me know I had hit a mile marker.
The run started at my parents house, I haven’t went for a run from there in a long time and I am glad I did.  I headed down the street and just went with the flow of it.  I headed down the road to see if I could come up with a route close to the 3 miles I was making up from a missed run on Wednesday.  One of the things I love about the town I grew up in, is that they still have brick roads!!  Not all of them are but a few scattered throughout town and I love that.
I was running…so it is blurry!
I continued my journey and decided to run past a park I use to go to when I was young.  Just before I got there, mile 1- 9:14.  Nice, I hadn’t thought I was going that fast.  I started to pay attention to the fact that it was getting darker!!  I was dressed highly inappropriate for running in the dark.  I had on black running tights and a black and grey shirt!  So I decided to start heading towards my parents and I could go finish up my 3rd mile on the indoor track across town. 
You can’t tell but it is getting dark…the street light is on!  🙂
I felt like I was going at a turtles pace for this second mile.  I felt much slower than the first and was trying to figure out why!  I wasn’t winded or tired and physically felt great!  Its only 2 miles…why would that slow me down?  I kept going and didn’t look at my pace.  As I neared my parents house I had to detour around a little so I would hit mile 2 close to their house and then I beeped.  Mile 2- 8:50!  What!?!?  This really shocked me…in a good way! 
I expected to see something closer to 10 so this really made me happy!  I just couldn’t believe it!  Maybe the little bit of hills and speed work I am doing is paying off!  Faster paces are beginning to feel a little slower and I like that!  I am really excited to know that since I stopped obsessing about watching pace it is improving.  I think mentally I don’t believe I can hold a certain pace for a specific distance so watching it was just ruining my runs.  I would put the pressure on myself and then not perform as well.  I think I am going to like this no pressure running I am doing!
I then headed to the indoor track and met up with Jade.  We started running and I was only going to do one mile but we got talking and soon enough I had ran 2 more!  I don’t know what pace we were going at all.  I didn’t time it and I didn’t’ care.  Day’s total 4 miles!
 
Are you addicted to watching pace/distance etc?
Favorite thing about your hometown?
Does your pace ever shock you?
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8 thoughts on “Running is a mental battle…at least for me!

  1. Thanks! It does not make you sound crazy! I am like that too, even though I know what I am capable sometimes it is really hard to convince myself of that! But then that good run comes along and everything works out!!!

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  2. Awesome work!! I too struggle with the mental aspect of running, I find myself doubting myself during races and then I get into a mental fight with myself (does this sound me crazy?!) to keep pushing forward. I think if you recognize that it's an issue for you, it makes it much easier to conquer!

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  3. Running is SO mental. Becoming mentally tough is so important and I think runners don't realize they need to practice it the same way we practice speedwork, etc.

    It's funny how sometimes my fastest runs feel the slowest…I think because it feels like I'm trying so hard so it feels like…running through mud!

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  4. Good job! Speed work ALWAYS pays off. Runners who do speed work get faster. It's science!

    I used to look at my watch constantly, but I am slowly weening myself off of that habit. I'm not sure it's making me run faster, though. What's usually the case for me is that I think I'm running faster than I actually am, which is always such a bummer and really annoying. Wish it were the other way around, but what can you do?

    Running is a mental battle for everyone. Even top runners go through it, seriously. I read the blogs of some local runners who are frequently at the top of leader boards in local races, and they go through all of the same doubts, anxiety, and struggles that the rest of us do!

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  5. Way to go!!! Of course your dedication to all the hill training is paying off!

    I only watch my pace closely during speedwork. I used to obsess over it during easy runs too, but then I realized easy runs are SUPPOSED to be easy (duh) and should be run at whatever pace the body wants! I do check when a new mile beeps off just to be sure I'm not doing like 20 mins per mile though, hahaha!

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