Long runs and battling a constant mental wall

Today’s run 26.2 for 3 hrs 48 minutesB (8:43 B Average Pace) + 1 mile barefoot cool off on my treadmill at 5.6MPH pace for a total of 27.2 in 4 hours.

Time of run 10AM-2PM

Pre-run fuel – Two pieces of toast (from frozen bread) with butter and salt and two cups of black tea. B I didn’t do food shopping since I’ve been eating at work so no Pitas =( .

Run entertainment – Twilight on Audio Book, no music just audio book

I find my training runs a curious thing. B I’ve been trying to get more technical with my runs to improve me speed but my training run pace and my actual ability don’t make logical sense to me. B On races, I seem to be able to keep a 7:45 pace with still plenty of energy left after the finish line. B Don’t get me wrong, it hurts and sometimes my sinuses try to choke me but I’m manageable. B However, on training runs if i pick up my pace beyond 8:20 my legs feel like dead weight. B I think I have a mental wall against running fast on my long runs unless I’m racing. B I tried to trick myself that I’m only running 5 miles so speed up, then 5 more but my subconcious is too smart for my games. B Instead I just focus on getting in the miles.

My splits are all over the place. I think that has partly to with the fact that I train on a rolling hill trail with some busy streets for the first few and last few miles or maybe it’s because every few miles is a new mental battle.

As my training is coming to an end; my battles are becoming more mental than physical. B Whereas before I had to hold my knee to keep myself from falling over in pain; I now have to hold my head in place to keep myself from getting lazy.

At mile 2.6 B I rejoiced that I am 10% complete and I only have 10 sets of 2.6 miles left.

At mile 6B I rejoiced that I am 25% done not counting the 2 miles downward route that returns me home. B Straight downward 2 miles is a reward for the rolling little hills I run.

At mile 8B I rejoiced that I’m 1/3rd done (notice how my mine breaks everything up into fractions and percentages to make itB manageable) B Since I’ve been running for 4 miles on a running trail instead of streets with cars I am starting to actually enjoy myself.

At mile 13.1 I rejoiced that I am half way done, I am 1 hr and 45 minutes into my run and I feel great!

At mile 15, I’m bored again and decide I have 5 more before I get my Powerade break. B I decide to go for a mile or 2 off my regular concrete road and hill up an actual trail. B I have no regrets. B My love for today’s run is reborn again.

My pace hit 12 minutes because I took a few to enjoy theB serenity.

At mile 17 I remind myself that I only have 3 miles, less than 30 minutes before my “break” as I pop out of the woods and back on the concrete trail. B Goodbye woods! B I text Tony a photo to convince him we should take up trail running after my marathon.

Mile 20.2 I get my break. B I also realized that I can see salt in my sweat on my running skirt. B Charming. B I realize I’m more than a little dehydrated and salivate at the thought of a lemon lime Powerade (only sports drink I truly enjoy, no Gatorade for me not even on races unless I’m really desperate forB electrolytes.) B I run 4.5 miles loops around a lake that has an indoor skating ring with vending machines!! Score.

At mile 21, I remind myself that I only have 5 more miles left as I set out on a 4th but partial loop of my 4.5 mile trail not counting the 2 street miles to my house.

At mile 25 I realize I’m a half mile to short from reaching my 26.2 goal. B I feel tired and a big part of me wants to get over it and just go home. B However, my OCD part is slightly more stubborn as I loop around a few blocks around my house and end at an even 26.2.

At mile 26.2 after taking care of bathroom functions I cooled off with a barefoot very slow run/jog on my treadmill. B My cat learned a lesson today. B No matter how tempting my bare-feet look, its never a good idea to try to bite them as I’m running on the treadmill, even if its at what he thought was a slow pace.

While running I also get emails like this from Tony:

He seems to always have trouble with the cat when I’m out on a run (ie Jack dropping a vase of water and flowers on his computer). B I think its because he does things like this with him.

Jack in a box.

I hope everyone had a great training run this weekend!

Do you use any mental tricks for your long runs to get through the speed and distance?

4 thoughts on “Long runs and battling a constant mental wall”

  1. Awesome awesome. Amazing amazing. I wish my feet could handle 26.2 mile training runs. I did 22 yesterday and boy was I ready to be done when I finished. 2 weeks to go!

  2. Amazing, and with only some toast and tea, and more than a marathon too. You are a running machine. I just did 18 for the first time today! Will blog soon…

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