Long Run Mental Strength

Today was my last long run of my half-marathon training. It was also the longest run. And definitely the hardest, mentally and physically.

I have been going through a lot of things lately. I moved recently. Got a new job. Neither of which is ever easy and I’m not very good with change. To say that I’m emotionally, physically, and mentally spent from moving, my new job, and some other personal things, is an understatement.

Last night I woke up at 5:30am and couldn’t fall back asleep. Lame. I laid in bed and rested until my alarm went off at 7:00am. My new phone’s battery has been acting funky since I’ve gotten it, so I was going to bring it in to get it looked at this morning before my other errands. The game plan for today was run my errands and go to two appointments. Then go to the trail in DePere and do my 12 mile run from there.

I’m used to running in the morning around 8am-9am. Not at 12:30pm when it’s 70 degrees out. I had planned accordingly and brought my handheld water bottle with Nuun. Because it was hot, I really wasn’t worried about how fast I went, I just wanted to run to run.

Yeah, I was smiling when I started.

The first mile went okay. This was the first time running with a water bottle, so that was something to get used to. My goal was to stop every 3 miles and drink and take half a gel because I brought two. The first stop was good. I took half the gel and drank my Nuun (which was getting pretty warm, yuck). I had put my car key in the zipper pouch on the water bottle. I made sure it was in there when I left and took off again.

The next 2 miles where a little harder. Even though there was shade from the trees, the trees blocked the wind. Boo. So I stopped again around mile 5 to take another drink and take a little more gel. My car key is not in the pouch. What in the world. I swore it was in there when I left my first stop. Guess not. I tried not to panic and decided to just turn around now and look for my key. (I should have just went for the next mile in hindsight. Whatevs).

Of course the place I lost my key was a little bridge in the shade. And there were about 3 of those before I found the one I actually stopped at. My mind was not on my run. I was so worried about finding my key. I put my phone in the trunk of my car, so I don’t have a phone. Or money. AHHHH!

Then I had to locate a port-a-potty because drinking all that Nuun was taking it’s toll. I prayed in there that I would find my key. Lame, yes. Desperate, yes. I figured I had two options. 1) Get back to DePere and go across the street from where I parked to Shopko and hope that they let me call home. 2) Venture to the other side of DePere and go to my grandparents apartment. Neither of which were appealing options.

I came up to the first two bridges and nothing. Then I found the one that I stopped at and found my key! I kissed it and thanked whoever helped me find it. Thank God.

After I found my key, my pace picked up because I could focus again on my run. By this time it was really warm, I was really warm, my Nuun was really warm, and my mental state was dwindling. I had to keep telling myself “You can do it. It feels awful now, but you will feel accomplished when you’re done!” “You will feel so much more prepared for your half when you finish!” “This has been the hardest long run and it’s probably supposed to be! You have to prepare your mind too!”

I got back into DePere and, because I turned around early, I was going to have to run past the park I left my car at in order to get my 12 miles. Talk about hard. Running away from your car when you’re tired, thirsty, hot, and SO CLOSE to being done, was super difficult. I ran 1 mile away and then turned around and came back to finish the 12. Holy Cow. I hugged my car. I finished. I was physically beat. Mentally beat. I could not go any more. That trail chewed me up and spat me back out. I ended up walking a little bit during the last mile, which I never like doing.

The water I had in my car had warmed up, so I went to Shopko anyway to get a bottle of water. But I most definitely DROVE there.

This run was the most mentally challenging run of my whole plan. My mind and body fought the whole way. I came out a beaten, but stronger person. I know I can run that half-marathon on May 20th. Even if I don’t complete it in under 2hrs (my time today for 12 miles was 2hr 2min), I know I can at least finish it. It won’t be hot. It will be in the morning. It will be after my week of tapering. It will be awesome 🙂

What time of day do you run?

How do you combat the heat while running?

Categories: exercise, health, life, racing, running, walking | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Long Run Mental Strength

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