100% Mental

Somewhere between the time I was given the okay to start running again, the double pink lines on the pregnancy test and today, my running has shifted from being physically challenging to being 100% mentally challenging.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a physical challenge to keep going.  My biggest struggle is pushing myself mentally.  My biggest struggle is ignoring the whispers in my head to skip a run, slow down, or walk more. On the agenda today was an 11 mile run.  With the cupcake party and the overwhelming thoughts of blue, my 11 mile run was the last thing I thought about this weekend. I woke up this morning, and I remembered it was my day to tackle a long run.

I wasn’t feeling it.

I ate the chocolate donut that was calling my name (not exactly the best food before a long run). It was followed by a kiwi and some orange juice. I checked my blog. I checked all my favorite blogs. I checked Facebook. I hit refresh on them all. I did anything to avoid putting on my running shoes.

I finally came to terms with the fact that nothing was happening in the computer world that would justify missing my run. As much as I didn’t feel like heading out, I knew I wasn’t willing to miss my long run. I got off the couch, I changed my clothes, and I set out for my run. As I was leaving, I told Christian I have never felt so mentally unprepared for a long run. Long runs are what I love. I struggle with 3 mile runs not 11 mile runs. He told me to do whatever felt good. He told me to come home after 5 if it just wasn’t happening today. As unprepared as I felt mentally, 5 was not an option. It was 11 miles today. The only other option was to run more.

Alex, my new running buddy, was by my side. As much as I didn’t want to take him with me, I knew the rest of the afternoon would be much more peaceful if he got a run in. He joined me for the first 3 miles of my run.  I got two houses from my front door steps, and my garmin started making a lot of weird noises. Beep. Beep. Beep. Blank screen. My battery died.

I turned around now even more grumpy about my run. I gave my husband my garmin. I turned on endomondo on my phone. I tried again. Alex was incredibly hyper on my run (or maybe I was just incredibly grumpy). I didn’t feel like running. I didn’t feel like playing tug of war with my dog and his leash. I wanted my Garmin on my wrist. My grumpiness carried me through my run (not so successfully). I was mad at all of my neighbors who think electric fences around their front yard is a good idea. I was mad at their dogs for making my dog whimper and whine and get caught up under my feet. I was made at the other people out enjoying their day who had dogs on a leash who can’t behave. My right leg kept cramping up. I was mad at my leg. I was GRUMPY!

Since my Garmin was no longer working, I knew I wanted to run my 5k loop with Alex. After that I would run from our house to Christian’s parent’s house – exactly 4 miles from our street to their street.  This would give me 11 miles. I wouldn’t need to dig my phone out of my camelbak every few miles to check my mileage.

I got back to my house at mile 2.75. I dropped off Alex. I used the bathroom. I drank some orange juice. I headed out again.

8+ more miles to go.

All of a sudden, I realized it was a beautiful day for running. It was overcast. There was an occasional light rain shower. I knew there was a chance of thunderstorms. Running in rain storms are my favorite runs. Maybe this run wouldn’t be so bad after all. As dark clouds rolled in, I made a quick phone call to Christian – Let me be if it’s raining. Come find me if there is lightning. If I wasn’t pregnant, I’d normally keep running through the thunder and lightning. I don’t think my SON would appreciate being hit by lightning though because his crazy mom likes to run in storms. (Fun Endomondo fact – Christian is my friend on their website. He can track my progress the entire way. If he has to find me, he can locate me on a map!  Another fun Endomondo fact (that I didn’t know until after my run today) – Christian can sent me pep talks through their website and my phone. I had mine on vibrate today so I didn’t hear any of them. Darn!)

Favorite running path near Christian's parent's house

Around mile 5 something shifted in my mental attitude. My running felt strong. I felt good. I had settled into my run quite nicely. The rest of the run was smooth sailing. I love being able to call my belly HIM now on our runs. I love knowing that I’m out there, getting passed by running with all the other Sunday runners. I focused on my walking. I walked strong. I didn’t let myself fall back on to my heels when I came to a walk break.

I arrived back at my house at mile 11.26 to find my smiling husband on the front porch waiting for me. He’d been tracking me on Endomondo (don’t worry, he is the only person who can track me on their website. Any other way screams STALKER to me!)

For what started off as an awful, dragging my heels in the sand, grumbling at everything around me run turned into possibly my best run since being pregnant. I finished my run in 2:36:36.  This time includes a 5 minute warm-up walk, the dozen of dog pee breaks during the first portion, and the dog drop off/potty break. I think my running splits say it all. After I dropped Alex off, my mile times are drastically better than they have been in the past few weeks. On paper, my overall pace is slower than last week, but that is including all the non-running factors due to the fact that I was using my phone instead of my garmin.

1 – 14:29 (including 5 minute warm-up walk)

2 – 14:22 (Not sure what happened here? Grumpy much!)

3 – 19:48 (Dog drop-off/potty break)

4- 13:32

5- 12:52

6 – 12:02

7 – 13:12

8 – 13:24

9 -13:02

10 – 13:25

11 – 12:48

Last .25 – 3:33

All Done! (still not looking obviously pregnant in my running clothes - darn!)

In order to break the 3 hour mark for the Rock n Roll half-marathon, I need to keep my mile pace below 13:40. Do I dare say I think I’m going to run the half-marathon in less the 3 hours (at nearly 24 week pregnant!). I think it’s safe to say I will be close if everything goes well over the next 3 weeks. Do you see all those miles in the 12s listed above? 12:02! Hello! I haven’t seen that in the middle of a long run in a long time!

Today’s run is exactly why I LOVE running longer distances. Had I given in to my grumpiness and stopped before mile 5, I would have ended my run feeling grumpy and defeated. Since I was running 11 miles, I had 6 more miles to enjoy the runner’s high I was searching for during the first 5 miles.

Today’s run is exactly why I set goals and create training plans for myself. I hold myself accountable to the goals I set for myself. I don’t back down from goals and training plans. No matter how much I didn’t want to run today, I am so glad I did. I’m one step closer to completing a half-marathon while I’m pregnant.

Today’s run is exactly why I don’t let weather, lack of sleep, or any other condition determine my ability to be successful. I’m in charge of my mood, my level of determination, and my ability to find success in life.

Thank goodness for every single mile during today’s 11 mile run – the good ones and the grumpy ones! I was able to run through the lack of motivation and the grumpy to find a feeling of pride and even more motivation to keep going!

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6 thoughts on “100% Mental

    1. To this day, one of my all time favorite runs! That was a lot of rain! I’m so glad you are running the Rock n Roll too! See you at the finish line 🙂 (wait for me!!!!)

  1. Great post! I needed to hear this because all to often if I am not feeling my run, I will cut it short. It’s good to be reminded that a not-so-great run can to take the turn for the better with a shift in perspective.

  2. I wish we lived close b/c I think we’d be great running partners! I just did the same thing the other day with my IPod. I almost let not having music ruin my run…stupid.

    1. Oh i wish you lived closer. I’d love a good running buddy, but haven’t meet my match yet. The garmin broke again this past weekend. I ended up on Plan D!

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