Sunday, September 30, 2007

It's all in your head

Before I started this training, my therapist, a casual & sometimes half-marathon runner, told me that running is more about the mind than the body. If you think you can run 30 minutes without stopping, you can. I'm guessing she's assuming some kind of minimum, base level of fitness.

So if it's all in your head, you better be careful where you get your inspiration!

Last week when I was helping Monica with her training, I was doing pretty well boosting her confidence and keeping her going up until the last mile or so. She had gone out there with the intention of doing minimum 6 miles, preferably 8, but I told her if she could manage 10 it would do wonders for her confidence in her ability to perform on race day. Well, she sailed through (not really) 6 and 8, no problem, so she started shooting for 10. Then all of a sudden I started mistakenly telling her we had gone only 7.75 miles, when really it was 8.75. She immediately became disappointed and discouraged and was unable to continue past 9 miles.

Back when I did my 8 mile, I wrote about the mishaps that happened at the halfway mark that made it darn near impossible for me to continue. Finish, I did, but I was pouring sweat, and barely crawling at the end. I was so discouraged it was unbelievable. I had to call in the reserves (my hubby and baby) to walk the last 3 miles with me and keep me going.

Well, today the full weight of a major discouragement fell on me within the first quarter mile: my Nike+ stopped working. The other day I had problems with it registering my movement. Then after lots of ineffectual fiddling, it magically started working again. Today, it did sort of the same thing. I lost .22 miles of my first mile. And if I pushed the button to hear my current pace it would tell me anything from 30+ minutes per mile to 12 to zero (i.e. ZERO MOVEMENT). I immediately fell into this terrible funk. Add to this that I had started much, much later than usual, my breakfast was no longer fueling me enough, the sun was beating down on me (I have a bright red forehead to show for it) and that I had the added pressure of wanting to improve my pace today (I've realized I have to shoot for a 12-minute mile if I want to reach my time goal for race day), and you can imagine that it was a really, particularly rough time. I couldn't properly calculate my run/walk intervals, since the iPod was no longer reliable, so my running became erratic, and running out of fuel, I became very tired, very quickly. I called the hubby for help before I even hit mile three. I needed more fuel.

I never really recovered. Towards the end I was so beat, both mentally and physically, that I just shuffled along slowly. The final straw was a total stranger who saw the defeat written all over my sunglassed, sunburned, sweaty face. She asked if I was getting in shape and gave me a little "Yay, good for you!" little fist pump and cheer. Ugh. That was it. I gave up a mile early. GAVE UP?? That's not me. Not the new, Eat-My-Dust me anyway. I did finish that last little bit on the treadmill at home after having a late lunch and further recovery, but none of it counts. My pace, my distance, my performance. It doesn't count. Not that I want it to. But this was my last real, major distance before race day and last chance to try the new intervals I'm working on.

So I had a bad day. I will try and get a new Nike+ gizmo and possibly write some hate mail to Nike (after all, I bought their expensive shoes thinking that they would help make my Nike+ work more consistently! PAH!) But I will continue. I will persevere. Maybe now is a good time to stop relying on the Nike+ and get the stop watch like I planned. Have I mentioned that MP3 players/iPods are not allowed at races like these? I've known it for a few weeks now, and I have been trying to figure out other ways to pace myself when the day comes. But I wanted to keep using my Nike+ to log/track my runs/performance. I was even thinking of hiding it on my person on race day just so I have a record that I did it. I've become so used to using Nike+ at this point, if it doesn't get recorded by Nike+, I didn't do it.

1 comment:

Elisabeth said...

PS, am I the lone remaining bunny? FFK where are your progress updates? Haven't heard from you in a while.