Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mental Toughness and My Outdoor Gym...

Hey There!

Alright, so today I want to talk a little about the mental side of running, because if you are like me…sometimes you just don’t want to run…and sometimes you do, but mentally your brain is SCREAMing at you to stop. This is what it’s been like for me the last two days of training. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed being outside in the gorgeous weather and I’ve loved the feeling I get from completing a workout…but sometimes the mental battle can get it me!

For example last night I was so excited to get out of work and get in a run in the sun (can’t tell you how excited I am that it’s now light out after work)! So I laced up my sneakers and hit the road only to find about a mile in I wanted to stop. Now I wasn’t tired or in pain but mentally this was the battle going on in my head… “You can’t do this you’re too tired….Yes I can I can do anything I put my mind to… but there’s so much longer to go and you’re already tired…. It’s just one foot in front of the other, one step at a time…but your sore…Yep but I’m not in pain and my body is not screaming at me to stop so I can keep going”. Then during today’s run my mental dialogue was more like this… “Maybe I should walk some…but why, you’re doing fine running…. I’m tired… keep going…. I wanna quit… define yourself, are you a quitter?... No, but I wanna stop cause this is hard….But when you’re running your next half and you wanna quit cause it’s just as hard and you look back on this training run what do you want to remember? That you proved you can do anything you put your mind to or that you are a quitter?!... ” And with that I kept going and of course made it home with no problem.

Then because I know that I am going on a mini-vacation the next two days and probably won’t find the time to work out (which is why I did four days of running in a row….normally I do three and then rest) I decided to head to the park and work on some leg strengthening exercises. So let me introduce you to another friend of mine…….this is the Goodwin park football field (see picture to left)…in the fall its home to the pop-warner cardinals football team but for the next twelve weeks (at least) it’s my new outdoor gym. Now you probably can’t tell from the picture but way out in the distance, out by the trees, is a field goal pole (I think that’s what they are called). I was standing under the other one and for my first exercise I did side squats all the way across the 100 yard field. Once I hit the other goal pole I did 2 sets of leg lifts, shaked out my legs a bit, and did walking lunges all the way back! Then after torturing myself with that for a while (hee hee...I was definitely feeling the burn), I headed over to the baseball diamond and did step ups onto the team bench (see picture below to right)! After that I did some calf raises, stretched out in the nice warm sun and walked home feeling quite proud!

See mentally I should believe that I can’t do things like this… I was once 310lbs for goodness sake! Human Nature would tell me to believe that it’s too hard and it’s just weird to push my body when nobody is there to tell me to do it. But the reality is…I can do it! I do this for me…to prove it to myself! Two years ago I couldn’t run three houses down the street before needing to stop to catch my breath. I didn’t believe that I could lunge 100 yards or push through the burn of side-squats. But now I know I can and each day I go out there I prove it to myself again! I might only be training for a marathon (not the Olympics as my mother so elegantly pointed out last night when she asked why I was running so much), but each day I go out there and push my body …I’ve already WON the gold!


1 comment:

  1. Yay for breaking thru the mental thought and getting your runs in! I have the same mental thoughts at times to and its hard to push thru them. I love you new outdoor workout spot.