Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Countdown to Ventura Marathon T - 4 Days: It's purely mental

Ventura Marathon Countdown= 4 days left!

This is a vision board I made earlier this month once I saw this race was quickly creeping up on me.

 I'm a big believer of putting positive and inspiring messages in front of me everyday. It's really easy for me to get bog down with a lot I have going on. These quotes help with positive re-enforcement on a daily basis. They also help me see outside of myself and focus on what I'm capable of instead of focusing on my limitations.

Tonight's Quote is something really to think about and discussed a lot with endurance athletes.
The race always hurts
expect it to hurt
You don't train so it doesn't hurt
You train so you can tolerate it.

If you've ever ran a marathon you know the dreaded "wall". Sometimes it comes at mile 18, sometimes 20-22 (if you're lucky).  To those that are not as familiar with what I'm talking about, I'll explain. The wall is the moment where everything in your body is screaming at you to walk, stop, and just drop. You're low on nutrition , something is hurting (if not everything) or your mind is just exhausted of telling yourself "you've got this"'s now yelling  "stop!"  I can't think of a marathon where I didn't hit the wall. It just came sooner rather than later in some occurrences. It hurts and it's expected.

Through this process of training for a possible BQ a lot of people have asked if I'm ready or how I think I'll do. The marathon is a beast of a distance, 26.2 miles total. To train for it is a bit of a formula. The best I can explain it is to break it down into a math equation:

Basic Foundation of training (endurance training)
Speed work
Race Pace Training
Mid Week Runs                                                                 = 55-75% of marathon preparation
Cross Training (weight lifting for me)

 Mental awareness / Functionality/Capability/ Persistence/ Logical awareness 
                                                                                                  = 35-55%

 RACE DAY MAGIC / weather/ and adrenaline                  =  5-10% 

Part A + Part B+ Part C = a successful marathon preparedness . I know this doesn't quite equal 100% but each factor is different for every runner and the season they are currently in with this sport.

Part B is the area I struggle with the most, the mental side of the training.
Even when I toe the line on race day I find myself second guessing my capability. "Have I trained enough? Should I have done another 20 miler?" It's always there. A friend of mine gave me a great trick that will help my mind break down my marathon in 3 parts, 2- 10 mile runs and a 10K.  It really helps by the half marathon point (13.1). With this process I'm already 3 miles into the 2nd set of 10 miles, not "just half way through the race."  The worst park for me is the last 10K. Everything starts shutting down. I lose the ability to hold things (gu's, water.. etc) and all I want to do is walk. There have been times where my mind was telling me to quit.   However, I know it's coming and expect it. I've done the training runs before where they've hurt and were awful. All I wanted to do was to turn around and go home. You can't just get mad or defeated. I've learn to look at this as practice for "the wall" proving to myself I can deal with it and push through it. Not only are those training runs physical preparedness but strength training for mind. 

Many professional athletes find a manta or quote to focus on when having issues with their focus while racing. Have something positive to focus on gives you mind a distraction and an aid to enable the body to continue. 

I highly suggest finding a mantra, even something short as 3 works "beauty , power, and strength"...a visualization to inspire you to find and be the best version of yourself. Look at it every day or anytime you're struggling with something, some even use prayer. Find something that works for you, use it, and notice the change it has when dealing with difficult occasions.'s one of my favorite video's of marathon thoughts "second wind baby, here it is!" 

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