Matter Over Mind

Wait, I'm not out of bed yet.
Wait, I'm not out of bed yet.

flickr photo by tkellyphoto

The training guide I followed for my first marathon penciled me in for fourteen miles yesterday. Grudgingly, I steeled myself to complete that distance the night before, but when I woke up Sunday…well, let’s just say the sun was way up in the sky before I rolled out of bed. There wasn’t going to be any running for me that morning.

And besides, one shouldn’t really go from slowly jogging two or three miles two weeks ago to hoofing fourteen miles through Golden Gate Park. Or at least you shouldn’t unless you want to get injured again. So, Sunday evening I laced up for a nice 6 mile jaunt. Of course, as I trucked along I realized I’ve been focusing so much on physical recovery I’ve totally neglected the mental side of running. I haven’t been visualizing finishing long runs, and, when I get up close to 5 or 6 miles, my mind wants to shut things down and get ready for tomorrow’s run. With that small epiphany, and since I felt pretty good after several miles, I decided to add a four mile loop which would keep me close to home in case I needed to stop and take it easy. This compromise with myself paid off. I was able to keep my mind focused on finishing the distance while listening to any complaints from my body. And today (a recovery day), I’m pain free.

It’s a good thing, too, since I checked which wait list number the Houston Marathon is serving, and in a week it has jumped from around 900 to 2651. I’m sitting in the 2900 range, so I’d better train up quickly yet smartly. I will, however, probably have to give up the idea of running Houston in cowboy boots.

Comments welcomed.

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