The external factors impacting this hellish run cannot be denied. The hot temperature, humid pollinated air and oh, those fires in Canada produced some serious second hand smoke. Never thought that would be an excuse! Coffee in the am...just a few sips since the race wasn't until 11am, was a baddd choice. The baby sips were enough to dehydrate and turn my stomach around mile 2. Amateur.
Training for a half marathon for thirteen weeks instilled valuable lessons in strength and perseverance, however all was forgotten this past Sunday. I have always struggled with my undermining psyche. While others might fall victim to injury, I succumb to that little voice. Even though I know I'm stronger, I become vulnerable. Despite knowing that it will all be over soon (miles or minutes), I agree with the ego when it says my legs won't make it. I am so grateful for the ability to run, to physically put one foot in front of the other, however, the idea of walking never seems that bad at the time. I know how to concentrate on my breathing, focus on right now, and quiet the mind but what do you do when the voice inside your head is a full octave louder than usual? The short of it, the mind and body work together and my mind checked out. I'd like to state with confidence that it won't happen again, but I think it's best to declare the need for fresh and clean techniques to push through the miles.
Here are a few quotes and articles to motivate us to nike (just do it!):
Use as much stimuli as possible, recruiting all five senses. Pull in all the negatives and positives, the possible triumphs and defeats. Fully develop the picture (for the neuro-pathways). Finish with your final step. Then do it again. Mind and Body Work Together Runner's World
#62 of 101 Greatest Running Tips from Women's Health: Get over it "If you have a bad workout or run a bad race, allow yourself exactly 1 hour to stew about it--then move on." --Steve Scott, coach and U.S. record holder in the mile
"One thing about racing is that it hurts. You better accept that from the beginning or you're not going anywhere." -Bob Kennedy, US 5000m record holder and first non-African under 13 minutes.
"Success does not come to the most righteous and rigorously disciplined but to those who continue running." -Amby Burfoot
"Believe that you can go farther or faster. Believe that you're young enough, old enough, strong enough, and so on to accomplish everything you want to do. Don't let worn out beliefs stop you from moving beyond yourself." -John Bingham, "Tools and Rules," Runner's World
"You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." -Winnie the Pooh
"Not meeting a race goal doesn't mean that the race is a failure," says Mark Wallis, a running coach and marathoner from Tucson. "If you can learn something from it, a bad race could be a stepping stone to a breakthrough performance. Also, when you work through a challenging experience, you develop mental strength and perseverance that will help you on your next tough run." How to let it go Runner's World
Head Start Runner's World
How to beat the excuses and run About.com
Remember to have fun!! I was way too caught up in Sunday's race and forgot why I was there in the first place. "Fitness has to be fun. If it isn't, there will be no fitness. Play is the process. Fitness is merely the product." -Dr. George Sheehan
And if all that isn't enough, I leave you with firefighter Matt Long's inspirational story:
Now, who's ready to hit the pavement??