“A person should set his goals as early as he can and devote all his energy and talent to getting there. With enough effort, he may achieve it. Or he may find something that is even more rewarding. But in the end, no matter what the outcome, he will know he has been alive.” - Walt Disney

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Mind Over Matter

Yesterday's run was more of a test of my mental strength than my physical strength, as some long runs can be.  The group was only doing 7 miles (only 7 - you like that?), but I really needed to get in one last long run before San Francisco.  So I set my goal for 12 miles - 7 with the group and 5 on my own.

I met the group at 5am and we headed out, but somehow we got distracted and turned around too early - as we were coming back into the parking lot we realized our mileage was short!  So a small group of us decided to continue on and get in the planned distance.  As we were out on that short catch-up run, one of our PGL's remarked that it took a lot of determination and commitment for us to keep running and pass the parking lot where others were stopping.  Oh, how right he was!

After we finished the group run, I quickly hopped over to White Rock Lake where I had decided to get my final miles in - because if I was going to do it alone then at least I'd have a pretty run.  The only problem with the White Rock Trail is that there's not a lot of shade along the waterfront, and since it was 7am when I was starting, the sun was already out in full force.  There were also a ton of runners, walkers, and bikers out, so the trail was very crowded.  Since the loop around the lake is 9.3 miles, I decided to do a 2.6 mile out-and-back.

It was so hot and the sun was just draining my energy with every minute - I don't think I passed a single mileage marker on the trail (every tenth is marked) without calculating how far the run would be if I turned around right then.  But I pushed on, wanting to get my total planned miles, so I just kept reminding myself that it was as much mental as physical, and I could do it.

Then I got a much-needed boost when I was about a mile away from getting back to my car - a runner passed me and said "Good morning - looking good!"  I was stunned for a second, because I'm pretty sure that I looked awful at this point, but I really appreciated his comment.  So I told him "Thanks - you too" as he pulled away from me.  It's amazing how a few simple words can really give you that last edge to get it done - and I did - finishing strong!

So my last long half marathon training run is done, and the race is two weeks away!  Next week is a taper, and then we're there!  Yay!!!

Saturdays Runs:
  • Group Run:
    • 6.78 mi; 1:34:19; 13:55 min/mi avg. pace
  • Single Run:
    • 5.23 mi; 1:12:17; 13:49 min/mi avg. pace


  1. That is awesome that you got the miles in during tough conditions. You're right - a lot of the miles are mind over matter.

    I love meeting other runners out on the road. A couple of nice words can totally make the difference and hopefully I can return the favor :).

    Great job on your training. Enjoy the taper and keep yourself mentally geared up to have an awesome race!

  2. How exciting. Is this your first half-marathon race? I'm also training to run my first half marathon in October. I've only reached the 8-9 mile distance in my training runs so far. Each time I add an extra mile to my run I'm amazed that I was able to accomplish that distance and I notice the mental battle kicking in at about the 4 or 5 mile point right now. My body is fine with the run, it's all mental because I know I still have so far to go before I'm finished. But somehow I find my inspiration and I push through to finish strong.

    The mental battle is far worse than the physical strain. And it makes such a difference when I'm participating in a 5K race and have people there cheering me on. So I know it will be great to have them cheering me on for the half marathon.


  3. Amanda - keep meaning to post after you and tell you thanks for all the support!

  4. Rosann,

    Thanks for your comment! This is actually going to be my 3rd half marathon, but each one makes me nervous like it's my first all over again! That is so exciting that you're getting ready for your inaugural half! You're right that the spectator cheering helps a lot, but you've got to keep some mental tricks up your sleeve for the slow/empty spots on the course!

    Sounds like you're on track with your training & are well on your way to winning the mental battle. Good luck!!!