Saturday, January 1, 2011

Another New Distance PR -- It's All Mental!

I went out today with a little trepidation over whether or not I could finish my 8 mile run, but....I DID IT! The weather was awesome today and I was psyched to push out the 8 miles. I chose a path that I was somewhat familiar so that I could concentrate on the run instead of being afraid of crazy psychos chasing after me! Since this was my longest run ever which I assumed would take definitely more than an hour, I took along my Sport Beans for an extra energy boost. I felt great on the first 4 miles, but decided to eat some beans to give me some energy to finish the last half of the run just in case. (BTW, the beans are by the makers of Jelly Belly beans which you know means that they are super yummy!) Well, after just 10 minutes of finishing my Sport Beans, I swear I felt a boost of energy! (It could have been all in my mind, but hey -- either way, I felt great!) After hitting mile 5, I could see the light at the end of tunnel. I just started counting down the miles from there and before I knew it, I had finished my 8 mile run (8.1 to be exact!)

What was funny was that after I got back from my run and got all cleaned up, I checked my email and saw a comment on my last blog post. The wise words of Kai reminded me that these types of runs are ALL mental. She is SOOOO right! Through the last half of my run, I kept thinking, my legs feel GREAT -- I'm not even tired! (Thank you magical Sports Beans!) Mentally though, I was having a harder time towards the end. I just kept focusing on something up ahead unti I reached it, then I would choose another point to get to. It was a great feeling though as I closed in on those last few miles! I was so happy to be finished, especially since I really felt like I still had some fuel in the tanks! I probably could've gone another mile or 2! I also was fairly pleased with my time. When I looked at the halfway point, my watch said about 39 minutes. I finished at 1 hour, 19 minutes which means I kept pretty much the same pace through the whole run! While that equals a pace of 9:50 which I'm not too thrilled about, this is the FIRST long run I've had where I've been able to maintain my pace through the whole run! Woo hoo! I am making progress!

While I was stretching, I was reflecting on my run thinking, "Wow, that was kind of tough. I don't know HOW I'm going to do 10 miles in just a few weeks!" But then I remembered that I did end feeling pretty good. I also thought about something I wrote in my training log just 7 weeks ago: "Goal was 4 miles, but could only do 3.6 -- don't know how I will EVER do 4!" Well, 7 weeks later and here I am running 8.1! It's all mental baby! I CAN do it...and so can you!

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