Mental Running

I’ve heard it said that running is 99% mental. I’m trying really hard to make it 100%, because then I’d be able to do it right now. All I want to do right now is RUN! And I almost feel up to it. My “friend”, the machine I’m currently attached to in the hospital is not though. We did just take a stroll around the hallway, nothing picture worthy but it was nice to get out of bed.

Last week before this hospital fiasco Ross and I discovered some great runs. One of my newest favorites is this never ending dirt road right off the main road that goes through farms and forests and rivers. It turns out both our host Mom and Dad grew up in the town we run by on this road, just a couple miles away from our home in Zeta Trece. It’s simply gorgeous and perfect for running. Here are some pictures we took from our most recent jaunt:

Hmmm... let's see whats down this road!

Ross is a city boy, and felt uncomfortable being totally surrounded by cows

I really wanted to join these kids diving into the river! They were totally showing off for the camera 🙂

No matter how far we run, we can't escape our volcano.

Cute Chicks!

Ross, probably trying to out run a cow.

So I may be physically sitting here in a hospital room waiting for results (hopefully by this afternoon, tomorrow at the latest!) But mentally, I’m here doing this:

Speaking (and fantasizing) about running, I’ve been doing some research online and found this list of “mental running” rules that I really enjoyed, and though you might too!

1. Don’t think.Schedule your workouts if at all possible. Mornings work best for me because nothing can get in the way. I operate on automatic pilot. Dress, drive, run. No thinking allowed.
2. Think. I find I do best if I imagine my long runs in detail. I can tell you early in the week if a long run on Saturday will be good or bad. For me, it has to do with how confident I feel on Monday about Saturday. Visualization techniques have long been used in competitive athletics. I don’t know how exactly it works … I just know that it does. So imagine yourself running that long mileage with a smile on your face. It just might happen that way.
3. Surround yourself with supportive people. I still remember my first 20k like it was um … three weeks ago. (It was three weeks ago.) I was afraid of racing that distance and was once again tempted to treat the race as a training run. But I remembered the words of my mentor and coach telling me I can do more than I think I can, that I had such long legs, that I was built for running. Who knows if she was lying? Who cares? Her words gave me the stamina and courage I needed—exactly when I needed them. And I had the time of my life.
4. Lose the losers. Similarly, you don’t need to be around people who doubt your abilities. You don’t need to read articles or comments on running boards from people who are critical of your achievements or speed or athleticism. When you’re new to running, unless you are blessed with an abundance of confidence and natural ability, harsh comments can really cause you to doubt yourself. Don’t go there.
5. Sign up for an event. Sign up for several events! And make sure one is just beyond what you think you can do. I ran my first 10 miler last spring, never having run 10 miles. Until I crossed that finish line I was pretty sure I couldn’t do it. But I did. Finishing a distance you never thought you’d be able to run is an amazing confidence builder.
6. Learn to forget. Forget yesterday’s rotten run. It’s a new day and you get a free do-over.
7. Remember. Learn from yesterday’s rotten run. What went wrong? Not enough sleep? Too many weeks of junk food? Whatever it is, if you can isolate it, you can learn from it.
8. Whatever you do, don’t wear headphones.
9. Whatever you do, make sure you wear headphones.
10. You’ll never find your answers in a list. That’s because you need to experiment and come up with your own ways to prepare mentally. Pick and choose those things that sound right to you. And then follow your intuition.


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