I had every intention of chronicling my training for the OKC Half Marathon…but we all see how well that worked! It is what it is, but I wanted to share another running post before the big day.
I am in what’s called a taper week…taper down the mileage so that the legs are fresh for the big day. I still run, just not as far or as often as I have been. It’s also one of the hardest weeks of training because all I want to do is run or try a new workout from the Beachbody OnDemand catalog.
Over the last several weeks though, I’ve had an epiphany of sorts. Running is 30% physical, and 70% mental. Wait…what? Your body is capable of almost anything; it’s the mind that actually gets in the way. Think back to the last activity you struggled with…was your body tired, or did your mind say this is too hard. Now there does come a point where the body just stops, throws up its metaphorical hands, and is done for the day. But 9 out of 10 times it’s the mental block that keeps you from going further.
It’s an interesting concept to ponder. If I can train my mind, I can go further for faster and longer. I should be able to push my body beyond its current limits because, after all, it’s perceived limits at this point. And I think this is the perfect week to test the theory and boundaries. I don’t want to over exert myself physically with more mileage or longer duration runs, so maybe I will spend some time training the brain as I run.
I’m not really sure what this is supposed to look like. How do you train your brain without some kind of tool or app? Maybe I’m close…I listen to music as I run to distract me from pain or from the mileage as it adds up. I find at times that a couple tenths of a mile have gone by because I was immersed in a song. I also wonder if maybe I need to actively not think…or actively try not to think. If you’ve ever done a “mindless” activity, you know how hard this is. You’re running mile after mile, and all of sudden that conversation from Monday night at pint night pops in your head. Where did that come from?! Then other thoughts follow…what mile am I on? Is that pain in my left leg? How long have I been running? That hill looks awful…lets walk now! So find an active way to keep those thoughts out of the head…check!
We’ll see how this goes. Tomorrow is supposed to be a sunny day with no rain in the forecast (which means it’ll probably pour) so Monday is a run day. I think this run, and my last one on Wednesday, will be about getting my mind set for the half. If I’ve learned anything from the others I’ve done, it will take a lot of mental prowess to complete the race. Maybe if I can train my brain a little before I even start, this will my best half yet!