The schedule cleared and I had hours this morning for a nice outdoor long distance run. The plan today? Let’s go for at least 10 miles and see how I feel. If my foot is sore, let’s go home and ice it. If not, let’s just keep on going.
I wake up, I stretch it out, I look outside – it looks a little wet, but what is that I hear? NO! Thunderstorms. I check the forecast and, sure enough, the forecast calls for thunderstorms throughout the day.
It’s a TREADMILL day.
That girl in the picture? That’s not me. That is who I try to mentally be. “This is going to be great!” “You can do this!”
Now I hope to complete 10 miles without beating my brain against the console of the treadmill. When I first started long distance running on the treadmill, I wasn’t phased at all. I could go for hours! For 15 miles! Now I have a mental block the size of a whale (brain sized whale) just waiting to flop on the treadmill and stop me running.
And my treadmill is in my basement. Which makes it 10 times easier to have a hissy fit when no one else can see you.
To help, I break up the run. The first mile I know, is just the first mile. And if it sucks, I know not to trust it. Just find mile 2, and usually the groove is fine until mile 5. Mile 5 is a mental tragedy. “I’m only halfway done!!!” And the next few miles are just a battle of the mental stamina. If I turn the speed down, I think I am cheating and “this is going to take forever to get through if I just don’t buckle down and power through.” And heaven forbid if I mentally walk down the “What’s wrong with you!” path. Mile 8 is where I like to be – I can run 2 miles no problem. That is all I think – I can run 2 miles no problem. Just get through these miles. Enjoy the music, Enjoy the sweat. Enjoy being able to do this.
Positive self-talk helps. And I try to shorten my stride at times to regain my breath.
Ultimately, though – farther is always WAY more important than faster, so I will turn it down at times as if I was on a trail. I know that is one reason I like outdoor running as opposed to machine running. And when I am ready, I turn it back up. Speed training is a separate workout all together. I’ll work on speed a different day.
Sometimes I get to through mile 10 and think, “How about one more?” 90% of the time I realize I just want off that machine. Sometimes I power through, but I have to be in a really special mental place to have that success.
Well, here’s hoping for a happy 10 miles on the treadmill. A successful mental performance on the running machine.