Mental Hurdles

I have a weekly update. It’s sitting in my “drafts” folder. I’m having a hard time writing it, though. I have reached a mental hurdle that I just don’t know if I can jump over it.

I feel like I made a stupid decision for jumping into another half marathon training cycle IMMEDIATELY after my first. I know there are runners out there who can run a half on a whim. I am obviously not there yet, nor do I think I ever will be. But I didn’t think running a second three months after my first would be so hard.

Or maybe I did? But thought I’d enjoy the challenge? I don’t know.

My long run this past weekend was disastrous. I’d like to blame the fact that I was on vacation, thus my routine was all off, but that’s just an empty excuse. I just didn’t want to do it. No way. No how. My body felt fine, although sluggish. I probably COULD have finished, I just didn’t want to. The second I saw Tim I made him pull over and get me. I was only 1.5 miles short, but still.

Then on my first weekday run of the week yesterday, I just couldn’t get into a rhythm. I finished the run in a decent (for me) time, but again with the sluggish legs and desire to just not run. I haven’t done today’s run yet, choosing to gamble with the weather and run this evening after Tim gets home. Maybe that will go better and I can get some confidence back? I don’t know.

Talk to me. How do you get over mental struggles while running/training? I’m not 100% ready to give up this race, but I’m definitely not as excited for it as I once was.

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3 thoughts on “Mental Hurdles

  1. Is it possibly the metrics that are getting you down? I know that the second year I ran, I HATED it because I had taken time off and wasn’t as fast as before and I was constantly comparing myself to the previous year when I was good at it. I found running to be much more fun by ignoring my speed and all of those other metrics for a while.

  2. Not uncommon to feel down or in a slump after a big race. It’s a big physical AND mental challenge. Give yourself a break; on the physical activity and a break around the mental slump. Presumably your goal for your next half is to do better than your last one, but three months away gives you time to have a few weeks of easier running and run for fun before getting back into it. As for the “mental marathon”, I always play tricks on myself. When I first started running, the deal was when I got home from work I couldn’t sit down until I exercised (spent many hours standing at the computer or reading); now the deal is I have to walk to the gym before I can decide not to do my workout (only once have I said feck it). At mile 10 of a 31 mile race I was ready to throw in the towel, but the medal (a silly piece of wood!) was one I wanted for my collection and that helped; having to face my running friends and say I didn’t finish due to mental breakdown was something I didn’t want to do (injury, ok, mental weakness, no!); but the thing that really kept me going was thinking of my Grandmother (who had died 2 weeks before) and my niece (who has a lot of medical issues). I thought they had endured considerable pain, not of their own choosing with grace and courage, surely I could ensure pain of my own choosing for a few hours. Ok, it was 7 loooooong hours and it hurt. And it hurt the next day, and the next, and then it didn’t hurt any more.
    To cut a long story short- feeling down after a race is common, give yourself a break. And during that break, work on mental imagery that will keep you going. Remember why you wanted to run in the first place, the satisfaction of completing, that amazing things you can make your body do! Visualise your success! And my own little silly thing…I have the word RAWR painted on my nails or written on my hand when I race. In the 31 miler, I must have looked at that every 2 or 3 minutes, for me it’s a word that symbolises I CAN and I WILL!
    LOL- you can blame Jill for this long answer.
    Go out and RAWWWWWWWWWWWWWR šŸ™‚

  3. Pingback: Gopher to Badger Half Marathon Training: Week 7 | Running Short

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