Mental fatigue & other mind games

It’s all in your head.

But really, it truly is.

I’m stuck at 3 miles. I struggled pitifully the other week to complete my 4 mile run in my Week 4 training regime. Last week was a write off, so I’m on a Week 5 do-over*, which holds a 5 mile run for me on Saturday.

Five miles? Yeah…right.

With that coming up, today’s easy run of 3 miles should have been a breeze, right? Nope. Worst, annoying, awful 3 miles ever. And nooo, it wasn’t the 5 (6? 7?) pints of Guinness from St. Paddy’s Day slowing me down…

It started with the chick on the treadmill to the left – watching TV and LAUGHING AT EVERYTHING. I hated her. I was busy being a martyr over on treadmill #2 and she had the audacity to run and laugh at the same time. On my right, I had Olivia Newton John doing some sort of Prancercise on her treadmill. WTF?

Then I couldn’t run for long without being tired. But I wasn’t sure if I was truly physically fatigued or just bummed out. It is always easier to walk. And because I seemed to recover awfully quickly, I knew I probably didn’t need to stop quite so much.

I finished up a sweaty, grouchy mess, and stomped home thinking how I was gonna blog about this crap run. Then I kind of stopped, because all I do is bitch, moan and whinge on this blog. Instead, I tried to think of HAPPY THINGS I could share… and then I clued in.

I ran/walked that horrible 3 miles in 40 minutes and 52 seconds. I’ve never done 3 miles in less than 43 minutes. THAT’S, like, TWO WHOLE MINUTES GONE, FOLKS!  (Hahahaaa proud mama to those baby steps)

Woot.

So, back to the mental thing.  Brain and I are going to work on these games:

  • Distraction.  DON’T let the weirdos get you down.  If you skip your morning workout and go at 7:00 pm when everyone and their prancing ponies are at the gym..then YEAH, you will have to avoid distraction. Be calm, focus…and run. Get into the rhythm and stick to it.
  • Field of dreams.  See it, build it, and Kevin Costner will appear in your corn field.  Or something like that.  Point is… visualize the end product.  Finishing the mile, finishing the run, finishing Kevin Costner in your backyard.
  • Always look on the bright side.  You CAN be a lumberjack.  You CAN complete this run today.  There’s no room for Negative Nellys in your head while you are on the move. Don’t dream of clothes-lining the Prancercise girl on the treadmill next to you…keep that inner monologue positive as you run.
  • Be a goal-getter.  Set little goals: the next 5 minutes, the next lamppost, etc. Whatever it takes to keep moving. During that 40 minute run you could be like, a WINNER thirty times. Fabulous!

Let’s see if I can put this into practice and kick it this week, ending in that glorious 5-miler on Saturday. Boo-ya.

*BTW, this is my last do-over for my 14-week couch-to-half-marathon training plan…I’m down to the wire on the exact training schedule. Do or die, man. Do or die.

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