I was going to write this update last week but due to unplanned events my head space wasn’t where it should have been. Recently I have become acutely aware of that all-important mental aspect to persevering when things get difficult and the thoughts and the self-talk that goes on in my head can seriously affect my running.
Several things have happened in the past couple of weeks that has reminded me that running/training isn’t always fun and sometimes we need the negative from which to grow and improve. Training recently has become a bit of a struggle as all the important factors like sleep, nutrition, positive mental awareness haven’t been aligned. Last week I had a recovery week and when it was first scheduled in, I thought ”Nah I don’t need a recovery week!” as everything was going well and I felt good mentally and physically. How quickly things can change. I thought that on a recovery week I would feel fantastic as the mileage was less, and not so much mental pressure to get out and do a long run. However it turns out I felt tired the entire week, my legs felt like they had been dipped in lead when I did run, and mentally I was beginning to doubt that I should have ever entered a marathon in the first place!
Another contributing factor to my negative self-talk was comparing myself to others. I lost sight of why I was doing the marathon distance and ruminated too much about how others were doing. I asked others who are doing the Queenstown marathon how their long runs were going. Transpires my 30km time was the slowest. This freaked me out a little and I started if I had done enough to get myself to the start line. So, this week I have been working on just enjoying being out running and have been managing the negative self talk.
So as it turns out running is not always rainbows and unicorns and that actually training for a big event is hard work mentally and physically. Another wee learning curve for this novice runner!