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Running is 90% mental.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

"The body does not want you to do this. As you run, it tells you to stop but the mind must be strong. You always go too far for your body. You must handle the pain with strategy...It is not age; it is not diet. It is the will to succeed."
- Jacqueline Gareau, 1980 Boston Marathon champ

Last night when I got home from work, I put my running clothes on and hopped on the treadmill. I had been feeling off all day; I was a bit tired and my stomach hurt, so I wasn't sure how well the run was going to go. I struggled almost the whole first mile and then the mind games started kicking in: "Maybe I'll just run a mile today and then do some strengthening exercises." At mile one I say, " Ok, just run a mile and a half and then you can stop." I get to 1.5 miles and then my bladder starts crying out "STOP!", so I make a deal with myself: "Run for 2 miles and then you can stop and pee." By this point, my bladder is calling me every name in the book, my body in general is asking, "Tell me again why we like this running stuff?" but I push on. I get to two miles and then I'm just like, "F$ck it, I've gone this far, what's another mile?" and before I know it, I've made it to my goal of 3 miles.
If I had obeyed my thoughts, I would have quit at a mile. Somehow, though, along this running journey, my mental strength has gotten stronger. I'm able to push myself and ignore the self-doubt that runs through my head. When I laid in bed last night and thought about that run, I thought about how running truly is mostly mental. I almost laughed out loud as I thought back about all of things that were bouncing around in my head throughout my run: the mental conversation with myself, the deals I was striking with myself if I could just do one more mile.
Amazing. It's no wonder that running is addictive.
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