The Race is Long

Positively Charged

The failure of my long run last Sunday had me a bit scared to face this one. Aside from real physical strains that hounded me for several days prior to last Sunday, there were other mental issues as well.

I was reading about some racing stuff and I think I got ahead of myself, overthunk my run and added even more pressure to an already overburdened session. So, my attempt ended early with a bad leg cramp and I dealt with the disappointment over the next few days.

I only got to do my long run again today; a week’s delay. You can imagine my worry about the week that I’d lost. At the same time, there’s that niggling doubt about dealing with the distance. Sure, I’ve done this all before. Sure, if I had to, I can walk it. Still, all these things mess with one’s head.

I ran into one thing that helped. It’s the simplest, most basic thing, it took me back to my rowing days plus, it gave me a laugh: the little engine that could. “I think I can.” A simple mantra charged with positivity and optimism. Who cares if Lemony Snicket finds the story tedious. I love the neat and uncomplicated slogan.

Treating today’s distance like just another run—another forgotten trick—helped. It removes any additional pressure one might associate with the task. It frees you up from over thinking the process; it’s another Sunday, just get dressed, go out, run. Simple. Before I knew it I was more than halfway through the 17k.

I ought to know myself better by now. Getting amped for a run doesn’t help me. I need a business as usual frame of mind for that. The excitement should come while I’m there, on the road, not before.

I didn’t think it would be so difficult getting back into the groove of training again. Just raising my mileage is a big challenge for me. I keep going back to how I did it all before—not that I did it all that well then. But it feels so much harder this time.

I guess I just have to make sure to stay with the positive. One foot in front of the other, just like today. I knew I could, I knew I could, I knew I could…

 

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