Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Gotta Push Yourself. Gettin' Close!
"The hardest thing to get is going" - unknown, but applies to every long distance athlete
I'm a big believer in trying to stay positive during your training. We keep going longer and the body gets tired, but don't expect it to come easy. Just understand that's that what training for a marathon is about - tear down, build up, adapt and improve! As a matter of fact, there's a Nike ad I saw in Runners World...It says "Evolution. It's what happens between runs.". When you train, each run by itself is only a small piece of the whole apple pie, but you want most of them to be sloped towards the positive side of the training hill. It's layer upon layer. Don't say, "This hurts too much, I want to lie down and die". Say, "Sometime in February, I'll do well because of runs like this". Don't worry AT ALL about your pace, just get through the runs. Look only at what you have to do right now, the rest will take care of itself.
So, this past week, we ran 13 miles (if you're following the schedule). Ken tells me the numbers of runners was a little less than usual this Sunday. I hope the reason wasn't that it was a little cold! C'mom folks, you all are doing great and have to be thinking to yourselves "hey, I think I can do this". I know, it still seems like a long way and all I can tell you is that it always seems like a long way. There has to be some fear built in to instill the desire to get out there day after day, cold or not. If it gets too easy, or if you just don't have the spark to succeed, then the handwriting is on the road - the odds of achieving your goal are pretty slim, but if you're confident that you're putting in the effort, that your schedule is built to allow you to climb that mountain, and if you truly believe in yourself, well then, put it in drive and GO! Training as a group certainly helps, so try not to get in the "I'll run later when it gets warmer". Yeah, right!
You know, Yogi Berra once said "Baseball is 50% physical and 90% mental". I think most goals are somewhere around that ratio. When that gun goes off, 99% of us are dueling against ourselves, not the other thousands of competitors. Running is not a team sport. You're out there on your own, so how do you sway the odds in your favor. Well, mentally, you have to eliminate all negative thoughts and try not to be surrounded by folks that just complain all the time about how terrible their running is. Man, I wonder why some of these folks come out. Before they even begin, they've completely talked themselves out of any good effort. Your perception and thoughts lead to a change in feelings which then direct your actions. When your thoughts are negative, either before or during a run, you may become anxious or emotional and your performance starts a downward spiral that looks like one of those World War I bi-planes going down in one of those old war movies. In training, you need to work on your positive thoughts because it's less of a "pressure" situation - you're running with a group, the run is easy, and if your run goes down the toilet, there's always tomorrow. Talk to yourself in positive ways - in training, you can judge every situation that occurs, whether it be good or bad, in a conscious or subconscious way. I've told many of you that I believe your body learns something from EVERY run you do. Sometimes, it may learn NEVER to do a run like that again, but it learns something! So, if you go out too fast, eat a Big Mac before you run, try to do a 17 miler after being out all night, whatever - you take that situation and realize that it was a bad run because of something YOU had control over. Tell yourself "I'm trained to run a good run, I'm strong.".BECAUSE YOU ARE!! Mentally program yourself to believe you are ready to achieve your goal NOW. Think in the present, not in the future. You will improve physically every week, but you have to mentally believe that you are a trained long distance athlete.
Now, this week, we run 15 miles, then the week of the 13th, we will meet at Boutwell Auditorium downtown. This is the starting line of the Mercedes Marathon. Thanks to Valerie McLean of the Trak Shak, the lobby will be open for warmth. Those training for the full marathon will do one full loop of the course (13 miles) and those training for the half will run to the 7 mile mark and then run straight down 20th street back to Boutwell for 8.6 miles. The maps are on the Mercedes Marathon website. The Trak Shak will also be providing water, Gu, and coffee at the finish! Hope you all can make it. Any questions, email me or put it in the comments below.
I'll see you all on the roads - AL