Getting back into the long run mindset

Does anyone else talk to themselves while running? Whether it is singing the same song over and over, or actually holding a conversation with myself, running is the best time to just let my mind wander. But it is not always a pretty a time…

My run yesterday was a nice 9 mile run through Bloomington off of campus. It is a hilly run and pretty chilly, but with the fall colors and numerous dog walkers, I enjoyed the time to myself. Then my watch beeped. My last mile, about 4/5, was close to an 8:30!

OMG! Jess! Come on, that one was slow. Pick it up.

Are you kidding?? Pick it up? Why? As these thoughts fought each other in mind, I realized that my head did now know what I was running for that day. I had to remind myself that once again I was in training for an ULTRA! In less than two months, (last weekend in December) I will be competing in the Huff 50k. Sure it is only a 50k (ha, only…) but it is still another race to train my mind and body for.

It is a 9 mile run. Time no longer matters, it is all about the miles.

Distance, distance, distance! I love training and training long, so why was I still caught up in the pace? These past two weeks I was training with my run club at IU for the NIRCA national race. Though I did okay, racing that 6k is not something I could do often. Sure, it is fun to see how fast my body can go, but running through the Pennsylvania grass, trying to pass a bunch of girls in the last “kick” is nothing like running through the dark with my headlamp on and crossing that anticipated finish line after 9 hours.

Today, I did an easy 7 miler with my Garmin on. Though I did look at my pace each time the device beeped, I did not pay any attention to the numbers. Instead, I focused on the deer crossing in front of me, my running teammate passing me during his daily run, and just enjoying the day. It took some effort, but I managed to steer my thoughts away from pace and into just running.

Hopefully by Sunday my ultra brain will be back to normal. I agreed to run with a friend form home, an ultrarunner who I have never run with before. Despite not knowing how fast or where we will be running, I will know each mile of our 20+ run will be going to my ultra training.

Maybe I should go home and watch Unbreakable again? Yeah, I was going to do that anyway… Maybe just need to kick those road shoes into the closest and tie my trail shoes to my belt.

Either way, my mind better hop on board because my body is ready for some long runnin’!

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