So it’s not exactly the lyrics to a Pink Floyd song, but all runners look for ways to break through that mental wall during training. I have lyrics running through my mind often and when I think of breaking the wall, that song popped into my mind. I may have improvised just a bit. 🙂
After this weekend’s long run, it seemed appropriate that this Tuesday on the Run was all about ways to break the mental wall we hit during training and how to knock it down and keep on moving. Saturday’s long run was a knock down, drag ’em out on my end and somehow, I came through on the winning end, having completed all 18 miles.
So what helped me get through that run? How did I not just throw in the towel?
A RUNNING PARTNER
I’ll say it again, thank goodness Cara was with me on this run. I would have long thrown in the towel if it wasn’t for her company. It also helps that she’s training for an ultra so she’s all about time on her body, building her endurance. So as I’m training for my marathon and she’s got her ultra, we’re perfectly matched for all our long runs. It’s been great to run with her and we’re never concerned with anything more than getting the miles done.
I gave myself outs. I always listen to my body and if at any point, I started feeling worse, I would have cut my route short. Luckily, the route we were running allowed for several shortcuts back to the car, if needed. I also just stayed in each mile, not really thinking about what was going to happen next. I will easily go from running, to intervals of varying degrees of walking/running, to all walking just to keep moving. We always say as long as we’re moving forward, we’re still moving. I knew that by allowing myself these outs, it helped me to know that if needed, I could cut my run short by mileage or bring it down to walking.
Cara and I have this one covered pretty much all the time. The two of us are always cracking up at something. I serenaded Cara for the last mile, making up some crazy songs as we walked along. We also just talked a bunch of nonsense about the things we saw along our route. We spent a lot of the last few miles in really good spirits. Even though I felt awful, we were still keeping each other laughing.
Usually when things start to go south in a run, I’ll start repeating something to myself just to get through the rest of the miles. Yesterday’s mantra, I can always walk. I knew that no matter what, I could always walk the rest of the miles. I walked for 7 miles in the Kiawah Marathon, what was 4 miles back to the car?
My husband would probably disagree, but sometimes it’s good to be bullheaded. I just am not going to give in or stop. I’m just not. I’m stubborn and it helped me yesterday. I was going to complete 18 miles.
What helps you get through those tough spots in a long run? What do you do to break the wall down and keep on going?
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