09 November 2012

Attitude

Attitude is everything. Such a simple statement should be easy to remember and follow, but it's anything but easy. My marathon mental state is like deja vu, it always starts great and turns into doubt and exhaustion. I truly thought that racing a few half marathons and not pushing the number of long runs would make all the difference, but I can't say that it has.

I wanted one more long run, but in general I should be fine for the marathon on December 2. This weekend's run will be my last before taper (which I'm looking forward to but will undoubtedly get annoyed by in a week) and my body is ready to go the distance but my brain feels stuck. I'm skeptical of the weekend long runs and stuck in some sort of 'fear' about doing them.

What's the solution? I have no idea. Writing my thoughts in the blog helps a lot, as does having the support of runner friends, Daily Mile friends, Oiselle team, and the SF Marathon Ambassador group. I'm in much better mental shape than I was a couple of weeks ago when I almost posted about dropping out of CIM. The marathon and I really don't get along yet, but I keep trying.

What I can say is I found a way to make this weekend's long run more fun; today I signed up for the Clarksburg County 20 Miler as my last training run. Nothing like race energy and 2000 other runners (all events) to brighten the day, right? I'd planned to run 18 and not 20, but I'm comfortable with this idea. Last weekend I ran 16 and walked 2 after so I can always take that approach in this event if needed.

I'm happy that my fear turned into excitement for this weekend - bring on the attitude change. I can't wait to run a new long run route and the photos of the area look gorgeous. Plus, I love small town races!


11 comments:

  1. It sounds like you're going to have a great race, if anything, because you're so aware of the ups and downs you've had with long runs, etc.

    I completely relate to what you're describing here! I started to really dread long runs and didn't feel mentally strong/eager for the marathon I ran last month. I think You've inspired me to write a new blog post (after many months of not) about it. It might help me sort my thoughts and feelings about it! After that marathon, I didn't run for three weeks because I was feeling a little uninspired, but I'm hoping a change in the type of training I do will help that. :)

    Have a great race this weekend!

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    1. Thanks for the comment and glad it inspired you to write about your experience. I can't wait to read it! :)

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  2. I'm glad you signed up for the 20 mile race! What a great way to get the last long run in!

    I would go into this marathon with no pressure (in fact, that's what I'm personally doing!) We are going to have a spectacular Oiselle meetup which will totally MAKE the trip for all of us, so who cares what else happens. Well, of course we care, but we just have to remember that running is fun and we are out there to have a good time. I think when I truly enjoy myself, I have my best races. I will be thinking of all of my birdies when I'm out there and it gets tough (which will be early for me since I'm lacking on long runs!)

    Can't wait to meet you IRL!

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    1. Yes I can't wait for the meet up - definitely the highlight!

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  3. Eeeee so glad you decided to run it. It will be a fun day!!!

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  4. What I've noticed with myself and other runners is that if I dread the long run, it's probably because I'm doing it too fast and/or worrying about the pace.

    Tomorrow I head out for my last long run before CIM too, and this week I've been fighting lung and chest issues, so I'm not sure how it will go either. Taper, here we come!! *high five*

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    1. Good luck on your long run - and yay for taper! *high five* right back at ya!

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  5. After I hit a wall at 21 miles during my October marathon, I am fearful abut going back to that place; even though I dug deep and finished pretty strong, that feeling of sheer helplessness still skeeves me out. I totally get your nervousness about CIM. I think it's fantastic you have a 20 mile fun run to do before the race--I bet it'll be great and happy and give you lots of excellent mental clarity as you head into taper.

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  6. Well, it is pretty natural to be tired at the end of a training cycle just before the taper..else ur doing it wrong ;)!

    But it sounds like it's extra tough on you? Hard to know offhand I agree with Karen..perhaps you are doing
    too much fast running for the mileage you have also racked up.

    Your 10k and half marathon times say that you should be able to go sub-5 hrs about now but I would not try this...yet. Don't try to run a new PR...try to have a solid fun marathon and finish strong...and that means start REALLY SLOW...try to negative split even.

    You are young and therefore should improve in the marathon for at least 10 years! ..so don't be in a hurry..the more long runs you do (at any pace) the more endurance you will gradually have. And I know you do tons of other core stuff so you are well balanced. So it should get better...

    Anyway enough random blabbering.. good luck with your 20 miler..have fun with it!


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    1. True, but sometimes I wonder if I'm overly tired? Who knows! Thanks for the suggestions and support, it is so helpful. You are very well-versed in this distance!

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  7. Sounds like you're taking the right approach by doing training things that stimulate and excite your brain! Hopefully the awesome feeling you'll have post-20 mile race will remind you mentally of all the wonderful reasons you love competing in long distance events. Mental blocks are tough to get through, but don't stop! Find your happy places and keep pushing your mind to stay there. I know you'll make it!

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What are you thinking? Let me know!