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Mind Games

Friday, March 04, 2011

Running is a mind game. One where if you believe you can then you will but if there is any doubt you'll fail miserably. Failure hmm well that's a strong word. More like not being able to live up to your full potential or even accomplish what's been done before. This is the category I've been in for weeks. I thought after making it through my 5K I'd be able to get past this mental issue I've been having. I think I did wonderfully in the race but before and even after I haven't been able to perform the way I know I'm capable of. I stopped the C25K at week 8 because I didn't feel capable of running without the walking intervals. Okay maybe not but in reality I had already done it. I ran week 8 day 1 and while it was hard I was able to do it. I should have been able to do it on day 2 and 3 but for some reason I couldn't. I went back to week 6 and even that was difficult. It seems that even day 1 of week 1 is impossible now. I started training my son and even during the 60 second runs I was breathing hard. A 60 second run I mean seriously that is nothing and it should not have made me breathe hard. I should be able to run W1D1 several times over with no problem. That is when I realized it can't possibly be because I can't do it but more because I think I can't. I haven't given up so that's good. I still run 3 days per week and I still try each run to make it through 3.1 miles without stopping. Each run its gets worse. I feel more and more like I can't make it. I walk more, run slower, and run less. I don't know why I have this block. I don't know why I can't get past this mental block and get rid of the mind games. I mean seriously I know I can do it I've done it before so why can't I do it again. It's not just my mind either, my body is following suite. No pain but tightness in my leg muscles especially my right calf and ankle. I have no idea why. Oh and then I got a cramp in my side for the first time since starting running. It's like my mind is all messed and my body is trying to follow suite. I know I can run at least 28 minutes straight. I ran 5K with only about 3-5 minutes of walking but on my regular training runs I can't run more than 3-6 minutes straight. I just don't get it. I've tried changing my route just in case maybe I was bored. I tried challenging myself like making it up a hill or trying to get to a certain point before walking. I've tried changing the music and even running without music. I've tried focusing on a point in front of me and trying to zone out. I've tried really everything I can think of to get out of this. The only thing I'm not willing to do is quit and give up running. I still feel great when I've finished running. I still feel amazing that I am able to do it at all and am still proud of my accomplishments. I still feel great on the days I run its just while I'm running that I have these problems. I want to run in more races and I want to get better and even run all the way through. Maybe one day I can even move up to a 10K or half but for now I can't even get past two songs without stopping and walking. I'm not sure what to do and while knowing its all in my head is useful information it really doesn't help fix the problem.
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  • KTMAE2006
    I totally know where you are at....I've gotten off track with my training and am having a hard time getting back to where I was. I think I'm going to basically start over with my training. Just exercise for 20 minutes and see where that gets me. Then try to beat either the time I exercise or the distance covered the next time I workout.
    2942 days ago
    Stopping to walk is not failure. Maybe you just need a week away from running so that when you come back to it you're fresh.
    2943 days ago
    AGREE!!! I dedicated like 10 blogs to this subject! but I think I figured it out! did you chk out my MAD scientist blog 1 and 2!!! running in the zone! you can MAKE IT HAPPEN!!!

    I am just like you!!! If my mind is not in the game, the run is failure! and I have experience all of the things you mentioned!

    so I ran the above experiment!

    today I ran 5 miles! was fatigued, didn't wanna, and was in the ZONE! it was to be 9 miles, but something happened at 5 miles couldn't recover, so I'll take it. the longest I have ran in a while is 3-4 miles!
    2943 days ago
    Aren't our brains amazing? They're capable of lifting us up and helping us accomplish anything, and they're also the things that can send us spiraling into despair.
    I know many people who follow the run/walk method (I think Coach Nancy does, doesn't she?) and they are tremendously successful runners. Walking does not equal failure. Maybe you need a change-up? What if you checked out the Spark Your Way to a 5K program instead? Maybe changing up the physical program itself will help you past whatever the mental block is?
    Have faith can do this. I still think of you every time I run and I have the "what if" fear set in. We can do anything....ANYTHING.
    2943 days ago
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