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.