Thursday, January 14, 2016

A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste

When you don't know that you don't know, it's a lot different than when you do know that you don't know.--Bill Parcells

With 15 days left, the checklist begins. Oftentimes when someone has a big event coming up and for the sake of my regular readers that event is a big race, they begin to psych themselves out. Historically, as I get closer to race day, I begin to fee my own nagging injuries again. The tinged Achilles, the achy knee, the sore hammy, and we can't forget, drumroll please, the infamous I... T... B. A month ago we dispatched these injuries but low and behold every tapered training run we think that we tweaked something.

I also tend to worry about things like weather, food, the national debt, and cute little kittens in captivity in some weirdos basement. We don't need to worry actually when you employ a few tried and true mental exercises. Running, particularly long distance running is largely mental. For example, very few programs include a 26 mile run in training for a marathon. No recommendations exist to tell ultrarunners to embark on a 100 miler in training. Whatever your long run is, on race day we tell ourselves that there is no way, "I won't finish". 

Some of the things that I do are as follows. Keep in mind, I'm not necessarily making a recommendation to do what I do but it works for me. I like to obsess over details. I figure if I am super prepared that my comfort level will turn race day into another long run in training albeit with a little extra adrenaline to propel me faster than a typical day. I practically memorize the course map. I get familiar with the turns and elevation. There's nothing worse than to be cruising along and then BAM!!! Massive hill. If you know it's coming, you can plan accordingly and based on your training you can slow down or attack the hill.

I remind myself that I've done the necessary work to be successful. Knowing that I've trained for 18 weeks gives me the confidence to just do what I do. I've mapped out the remaining training days. I've begun to alter my diet. My stretching is calculated as well as my foam rolling.  I've already put the trip in Waze and I know what my breakfast will be. There's virtually nothing that I can do here in the last few weeks outside of eating certain foods that will have a significant impact. So to make a long story endless, I will focus in and let my body carry me through to success.

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