Week 2 called for 25 miles, with the longest run 9 miles.
Last week I discovered on my long, hot, run, that I hadn’t prepared for that run. Mentally or physically
I believe in using visualizations, to help achieve results.
I used hypnobirthing with my second child, to have a successful VBAC, even though I was told, if I didn’t have the baby in 30 minutes, I’d have to have another C-section. Well, I “had failed to progress” for hours, but once I used hypnobirthing, methods, in 20 minutes, I was ready to have him.
When I was faced with a 12 hour surgery to remove cancerous lymph nodes in my neck, when I had cancer, I listened to a hypnotherapy health recording that taught how to relax and visualize a successful, easy, and peaceful surgery. Much of it talked about the body and mind healing. I listened to this every day, a month before my surgery. When my surgeon said he started operating, he discovered much of the cancer on the right side of my neck, which had shown on a few ultrasounds, was gone.
Since he didn’t have to operate on that side, my surgery was 8 hours, and my surgeon said he couldn’t remember a surgery in almost 20-years, that had gone as well as mine, and also where there was no cancerous lymph nodes, even though the labs and ultrasounds before showed there were.
When I entered my first and only competitive/elite division race, I listened to a hypnotherapy sports performance mediation for about a month before. I placed 2nd in my age group. It was the only time I’ve ever placed in a race, and the only time I’ve ever listened to a hypnotherapy mediation with the goal of optimum performance.
I believe the mind is so powerful, and can really achieve anything. But just like with going out and physically running, you have to mentally prepare too.
I had a very mentally trying week for week 2. Monday after work, my car wouldn’t start. I have never had that happen before. I was actually on my way to run. I called my dad, who came and helped me jump the battery. I also had my 7-year post cancer check up- I hadn’t had one in 2 years, an it was weighing on my mind, if everything would be OK. It was, thankfully! 🙂
Like anyone else, I have my share of challenges that arise every week, that take a mental toll. I have two kids, I’m a single mom, a full-time, and sometimes stressful job, I’m responsible for a lot of details, with numerous clients’ finances. I have personal things that arise too, that divide my attention. I try to be a good mom, friend, and sister, daughter, co-parent, and sometimes it’s just a lot going on. Sometimes the last thing I feel like doing, is expending more energy mentally and physically to run.
I decided to just try to take a few moments this week, before I set out to run, to just put all these other things behind me, and focus on the run for that day, and how I was going to do it.
Before my long run of 9 miles, later in the week, I took some time and visualized what I was going to do, and how I was going to do it. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, as it was hot outside, and I was tired- mentally and physically.
I even took a water bottle with me, as I was heading out in sunny, upper 80 degree weather. I HATE running with anything- it gets bothersome for me, and I feel like I spend more time focusing on what I’m doing with the object, than running. The runners who run holding their phones, have my admiration- I would have dropped about 50 phones by now, if I ran holding it.
The first 3 miles were really hard. It was one thing after another. My calves would not loosen up. In my mental preparation, I had forgotten to stretch them. I knew I was just going for the distance, not speed, so I relaxed and just found a comfortable pacing to see if my calves would loosen. When my calves felt better, the water bottle was really annoying me. I tried putting in my waistband of my skort, but that annoyed me more. I finally spotted a good spot to stash it on the trail. I knew I could run about 5 miles on this trail, and then pick it up on the way back.
As soon as I stashed my water bottle, I felt so much lighter, but then something broke in my sunglasses, and they kept sliding down my face. The sun was blazing and I was running into the sun- I didn’t want to take them off. It was almost funny, because if I hadn’t stashed my water bottle, I would have had one had on that and one hand on my glasses. Not exactly ideal running form.
I just couldn’t find a consistent rhythm until mile 4. The trail took me by the bank of a creek, and it was so hot- I was wishing I had kept my water bottle, but knew I was just a mile away from it. I dunked my visor in the creek and put it on, and the cool water was great. Then I crammed my sunglasses into my hair (I have really thick hair) and then put the visor around them, and they were finally secure.
Now, I was finally off and running, almost 5 miles into it. I found my water bottle, drank a bit while running, and then I was able to secure it to my waistband without it flopping all around as it was lighter, and then the part happened that makes me love running.
My body just took over. It knew what to do. I had no tight muscles, nothing in my hands, no annoyances. I don’t even remember thinking about anything- I just ran and it felt easy. My mind felt like it shouldn’t be this easy, but I mentally made myself not think that. I hadn’t seen another person yet on the trail- it was just me and I felt like I was free to just run.
Mile 7, it was almost time to turn around, as at that part, I was 2 miles from home. But I knew- there was a hill- a big hill- if I wanted to push it, that hill was about .10 of a mile away. I didn’t have to do the hill though. I was feeling so good, and I was actually getting energized- not tired. I’ve visualized running up many hills before, and do, they are the best training. So I went for it. I saw at the steepest part it was 11% grade, but it didn’t feel that hard on this run.
The final 2 miles went as the previous 4 had. It was all just clicking. I finished the run, with mile 8 being my fastest mile.
I don’t pay attention to the overall time until I’m done. I was surprise to see I ran the 9 miles in 1:33. I knew I was much slower in the first half, and time wasn’t the goal, but I was really happy to have that time, for a longer, hot, run with all the little issues I had, and even throwing in a decent hill at the end.
I am definitely using mental preparation from here on out. Preparing mentally is a huge part of all of this. It always has, and I believe it will make the difference for me for the rest of my training and on race day.
49 miles ran, 16 weeks to go…