Running and Reading Long – week 3

Yay!  I made it through the day!  I swear, the day before vacation starts feels like it DRAGS.ON.FOREVER!  Great scott!  Thankfully, I had half of a diet coke and got a bit of zip towards the end of the day.  I was able to finish the day with a bit of productivity.  Phew!

This is the third week of Running and Reading Long and the second post on Running for Women by Kara Goucher.  I have just about finished the book and am pleased with the first selection of this program!  This week we needed to write on what we would like to focus our training on over the next few weeks.  I thought a lot about this a lot.  Laura gave us a few samples and the ones that stuck out to me were:

*Motivating yourself to run – uhh… yeah, I could probably refocus on this a lot!

*Healthy running fuel/nutrition – since I started my calorie counting last week, this would be an easy one to go on (and on) about.

Even though these were both very worthy topics, I decided to focus on mental toughness instead (which kind of includes those first two anyway so I am totally cheating!).  I’m fairly certain I have mentioned this before but I REALLY need to work on my mental toughness.  For example:  on Tuesday I headed out for a run.  My legs wanted to go fast but I didn’t feel it so much.  My legs had a mind of their own though and as soon as I looked at my garmin, which was hitting 10:14’s, I started to second guess myself.

“Why am I starting out this fast when last week I was having trouble hitting 11:00 min per mile?  I can’t go this fast!”  Then the self-sabotage kicked in and run was a bit foiled.  Mentally tough, I am not.

Here’s the thing – I have some runs and distances coming up (VERY QUICKLY) where I need to be mentally tough.  I have a mud run on June 2nd and then the following weekend I have the Chicago Ragnar and 13.2 miles to cover on minimal sleep, no showers and not a whole lot of rest for the ol’ legs.  Oh yeah, I am going to need to tough this out!

One aspect Goucher talks about is to have fun while running and this helps.  The thing I really liked was when she said,

Be happy with every mile:  It doesn’t matter how slow you run-you’re still burning around 100 calories a mile, you’re still doing all sorts of great things for your body and spirit, and you’re still doing something that a very low percentage of people in this country can do:  you’re running (Goucher, pg. 60)

I LOVE this!  How often do you read, think and/or say, “well, I went for a run but it sucked” or “they were just junk miles”.  Why do we do this?!  Of course there are times when we don’t feel as good pounding the pavement as other times but we are still running.  I have noticed when I am down on myself and my running, it totally shows.  The miles are harder, my body hurts more and I am even more tired.  See where this is going?  What I realized was mental toughness doesn’t just entail being able to push through more miles.  It means enjoying those miles too.  Having fun while running means I don’t notice the tiredness in my legs as much or how I might feel like taking a break.

my friend Emily posted this to my facebook – isn’t it awesome? sorry I don’t have a link for it

Truthfully, this resonates with me simply because I have been working on getting back to running basics and enjoying it.  So, probably not a huge shocker this is what I am choosing to continue to focus on in the upcoming weeks.  My training this week has been a bit on the slow side.  I still have a run to fit in tonight and I did take 2 days as rest days already this week.  Not a bad thing but an aspect of my training this week.

So there you be – some of my thoughts :)

7 thoughts on “Running and Reading Long – week 3

  1. I love that quote! I have seen it many times and it always makes me remember why I love running so much.

    I hate the day before vacations!!! It does seem to really drag on, and on, and on! Boo!

  2. I am in love with that quote, its SO true. I think people are so caught up with comparing themselves to other runners but honestly if you run you ARE a runner. Doesn’t matter if you PR every race or you finish last. I love it!

  3. I am doing a Mud Run (Spartan Race) June 2nd as well! The great thing about mud runs is that everyone tries to help one another get to the finish. You don’t need mental toughness – everyone else has it for you!

  4. Love it! Your two races sound like a blast. I can’t wait to hear your race reports. I love the quote that you’ve chosen! There’s something very reassuring about hearing an elite runner say it’s okay to go slow!

  5. I love that quote too – hope your mud run went well! (is it over yet? If not, good luck!)

    I actually HATE the term junk miles – I don’t think they are real. I believe that every mile is important and inherently valuable, as long as we are healthy enough to run it!

  6. I need to refocus myself on working out in general. I have not been able to get motivated at all lately! I love that quote, too!!!

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