Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Self fulfilling

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.  


timothy said...

YES just YES!..............hmmmmmm the first little word verify didn't approve the second one DIGESTS ACTION!

Shelley said...

Heh - I've done the same thing so many times...and like you, when I look at the stats after, it's because I was running so much faster than normal. I wonder if it will ever become less of a mental thing? Any case, you killed that run!

Darcy Winters said...

I've had the same thing happen when I walk. I do the same loop everytime and can really psych myself out when I'm not where I think I should be on the loop by a certain time. When that happens - I find it's best to quit looking at the timer and just concentrate on the walk itself. I usually end up beating it!

Good job!