Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Building Mental Toughness...

Not everyday can be a great one in training, but there is something to get out of everyday; right?

Yesterday was one of those. I had actually been looking forward to my hill repeats. Powerwalk/easy run up and sprint down for 8 miles with a warm-up and cooldown to give me 10...easy enough. It was supposed to be 75 and sunny, but by time I got out to the hills it was quite windy and cooler than I would have wanted. I know, I know no complaining as it is freezing and raining elsewhere, but I was really hoping for a warm one.

These workouts are always great because they not only prepare my legs, but also my head. Up and down and up and down the same hills might seem soooo boring but then when you actually insert beautiful scenery on raceday you are golden. I know the value of the workouts, but...

Yesterday I was distracted from the beginning. My head was spinning with something else, and I couldn't get focused. Right when I started the workout I tried to sell myself that I could stop, "you don't need to run today, you ran almost 50 miles this weekend." It got so bad at 2.5 miles into the hills that I contemplated stopping and going to get a pedicure...seriously! Now that I have toenails, and all of them...thanks Drymax, I love having my toenails painted. I started thinking, "I could finish this repeat, go get my toes done, and go to dinner." Then I would convince myself to just do one more, just one more...

Before I knew it, I was at the top of my final repeat and heading off to cooldown. I was laughing to myself for the thoughts that crossed my mind.

I will admit that these were not my fastest downhills, but they were all solid and the climbs were a good balance of powerwalking and running. Note: I am not a great powerwalker so when I get bored or frustrated I end up just running up, which ruins the purpose of the workout...to practice powerwalking too.

While I still will go get a pedicure, it will be much more fullfilling and rewarding than had I quit the workout to do it. I know that. I know that come raceday when I get distracted or negative I can use this day, "remember when you wanted to quit the workout at 2.5 miles..."

In the end, this workout was priceless and I am thankful for it!
mer

5 comments:

olga said...

I visited Austin past weekend and ended up doing hill repeats one morning. I just had no idea where I was and figured I'll squeeze the miles out of one climb. So I gave myself permition to stop at any number - 2? one more? I eneded up with 5, each subsequent faster than previous. I find when I allow myself to get out - I work out better than if I have a solid plan and have to stick to it. I don't like to be told:)

meredith said...

olga - Thanks for the thoughts! Hill repeats are a little harder in Austin than Oregon, huh? Not as many sights to see, I am sure! Next time you are here, I would love to head out for a run together!!

Julia said...

Inspiring Meredith! You are right! After 18 months of yukky running I am able to (almost) laugh off a bad one these days. It does feel SO much better when you know you did it anyway!

Heavin' said...

Next time give me a call. I'll do my best impersonation of you. I won't give you a choice and tell you keep going when you stop. It's the least I can do after hearing you yell 'No stopping at the wall' for the first year I swam with you. :-)

I hope you had a nice pedicure!

John Austin Reynolds said...

You are one tough runner Meredith, thanks for the reminder to put the physical aside and focus on the mental and spiritual.

See you this weekend!