I did 20 miles last weekend. It was hard. It wasn’t hard physically; it was mentally hard.
My 18 mile run was fantastic. I felt I was able to push beyond the mental strain easily on that run. And then, my next two runs were hard – 12 and 15 miles. I realized it was because I hadn’t fueled properly the day before the run, but even having a rational reason didn’t stop the negative thoughts from floating into my head…did I hit my peak already? Maybe I am not as strong as I thought I was. Why did I think I could do this, this marathon again? Why would I ever think I could improve my time? How could I coach people through this journey when I couldn’t get a handle on my own negative thoughts? There is a lot of time for a lot of negative when you are running 20 miles.
There were a couple of times when I just had to stop and get my thoughts together. I had to convince myself that I was strong enough. I had to remember my positive mantra and move myself forward. I had to reach down and grab the part of me that is unwilling to stop – that stubbornness that usually irritates many is also a very positive thing. I don’t quit. I will fight through and show that negative voice that even if something is difficult, that negativity isn’t going keep me from reaching my goal.
And I did. Funnily enough, as difficult as it was mentally, when I finished I found that I had stayed right within my training zone. I had been performing exactly as I should have been…it wasn’t anything physical slowing me down, it was all mental.