I've been saying for a long long time that weight loss and exercise is a battle that is lost and won in the mind. It is a pure mental exercise. Today I had a first hand experience to show me exactly how much this is a mental battle. It was morning, I planned to go out running. I got myself dressed and set off I had my plan. I was going to do about 3.5 miles. I was planning on running it at my somewhat current normal pace of 12.30. Or rather that is what I hoped. I just run, giving it my all and hope for the best with my pace. So I started off. My heart rate seemed a bit low, but I seemed to be going at an OK pace. I tried to pick up the pace, simply based on my heart rate. I just couldn't do it. So my first mile was run with me running, and feeling ok, just thinking I was slow. Mile two is when the mental adjustment occurred for the worse. I just spent roughly a mile of running stressing about my speed, my lower heart rate, my running...everything. Mile 2 is when it hit. I started to mentally abuse myself. I lamented my horrible run (which I was still running). I even stopped and walked a few feet. My legs felt heavy. I beat myself mentally that whole mile. I was having such a tough battle that I decided to not do the extra loop which would net me the full 3.5 miles...I was going to go straight back to the car and call it a day at 2.5 miles. Afterall, it was a horrible run you know! I decided to ignore everything and just run to run for that last half mile and I finished it with a smile on my face and proud of myself for doing it.....then I looked at my stats......
So let me recap...
mile one, I thought I was doing bad
mile two, I flogged myself for how bad I did on mile one, to the point of physically feeling horrible
mile three, I ran to run.
So here are the splits...... and let me say that my base run is usually 12:30 or thereabouts....but I have run a sub 12 once or twice barely........so I'm inching downward.
Mile one...the horrible mile wasn't so horrible afterall..... I ran a 12:02
Mile two...I psyched myself out that I couldn't do it and ran a 12:58 (can we say mental failure)
The last half mile.......11:24 Uhhhh hello!
So it's clearly obvious that my mental game totally affects me!
How often have I done this to myself. I can say I'd started the Couch to 5 K training program time and time again (I know at least 3 times for sure) and each time I psyched myself out. I let the mental voices beat me down. The screamed at me "maryfran, you can't do this" I listened to them and when you listen they turn into a self fufilling prophecy! NO no no....I will not listen to the voices. When I have a bad run, I will accept it at the end when I look at my stats. I will just run to run...I will ride to ride when it seems difficult. I will push to do best each mile and I will accept it when it's my best effort.