There is something intimidating about the Long Run. A long run is different for everyone. My long run is defined as anything more than 14 miles. I will admit that my 14,16 and even 18 mile runs went well—I have been pleasantly surprised all season with the ease of my training. I assume that my body is just becoming more conditioned to the miles and that my base is now a 1/2 marathon.
But there is still a scary mile left. Perhaps the scariest of all. The 20. It has been the furthest I have gone before a marathon and it will be the furthest I go again this year. Tomorrow. Last year when I did 20 I bonked. It wasn’t good. It was hot, couldn’t catch my breath, was hungry, tired, blah blah blah. This year I wanted revenge. I really have felt prepared all season long and felt prepared for this run until Monday. Something didn’t feel right. My hamstring started bothering me, shins hurt, left knee hurt. Say what?? Why is this happening? I have foam rolled, iced, and taken epsom salt baths all week (and all season). I have stuck with PT for my IT Band and it all connects and shouldn’t be broken. Nothing should be wrong. It can’t be.
And then it hit me in 2 different ways today. First was a post from a fellow teammate on his blog. Fear and the power of the brain. I need to rid my mind of the negative and the fear.
Your brain is hard-wired with thousands of years of built-in defense mechanisms. When you are pushing your limits in work, family, exercise – anything where things can get really tough – watch for your brain to present you with a great excuse to simply quit.
Second, the DailyMission on DailyMile. “What mantra do you repeat when you need to dig the deepest?” There are a lot of powerful words and thoughts out there. Those need to stay in my mind.
I can do this. It is the fear of failure talking again. It won’t get the best of me. This 20 miler is mine. I will own it. I will rock it. There will be no pain.
What do you do when fear sets in? How do you handle the long run?