I had another marathon last weekend. I was excited about it only because I get to run 26 miles, I was not excited about it because I didn’t feel ready. Physically, I know I can complete 26.2 miles, but sometimes the mind and the body don’t work well together. Your legs tell your mind one thing and your mind disagrees. Let me explain.
I ran a marathon in Utah over two weeks ago. I thought I was ready, BOTH physically and mentally. But, somehow on race day, the two did not mesh well. My legs were in it, but my mind was not. While it wasn’t overly hot or cold, tt was raining at the start — which may have been the start of my bad attitude.
The first 8 or 9 miles were good. I was holding a pace I thought I could keep up for the whole race. I don’t know what happened after that, but my legs started to feel heavy. I had been having a nagging little pain on my right leg and it suddenly started to bother me. At that point, a guy passed me. It stopped raining and I had to run through a see of bugs. All of these little things got into my head and I basically quit trying. I started telling myself things like, “it doesn’t matter what your time is, you’re still going to finish,” and “there are no other girls around, so you still might win,” and “you have another marathon in two weeks, save your energy for that one.”
I was basically trying to tell myself it was okay to run slower. As the race went on, my attitude just got worse and worse. By mile 22, I had completely had it. The wind had picked up and it was raining again. My pace slowed to the “old man shuffle” as I call it. Then at mile 24, I passed that guy who had passed me earlier. I realized at that point there was only one person in front of me: my friend, Cory, from Oklahoma City. When I thought about us both taking the win, I instantly felt better and I picked up the pace a little for the last two miles. I ended up taking the overall female spot, and I was the second person to finish – behind Cory.
How was my time? Much slower than last year! I finished in 3:09, almost 10 minutes behind last year’s mark. I don’t think my time had anything to do with being out of shape. I think it was 100% in my head.
I enjoy long distance running so much, that speed is somewhat difficult for me. When running gets uncomfortable, I tend to give up and slow down. Maybe I am afraid of getting hurt. Whatever it is, it is a constant battle for me. I have friends who push themselves so hard, they end up in the medical tent hooked up to an IV! How do they do it, and why can’t I push myself that hard?
I will be working more on my mind during the next few days (instead of my legs) before my next marathon. If I can get my mind to work with my legs, instead of against them, I expect a great race.
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