Monday, April 30, 2012

In the Long Run: Mental Health.

Much like my own head - a lot open open space.
It's Taper Week, people - and we know what that means.

For me, it's sympathizing with Triple T as she goes through the madness that is the Taper before your first Marathon.

For her, it's wondering if you've done enough, trained enough, are prepared enough. (The answer to all those questions is Yes - she has, she did, and she is.)

There's also the lingering questions - Am I going to hit the wall? Will I be hydrated enough? Will I have to poop?

I'd love to be able to give her the answers to those, but I can't. I can tell her that from my past experience, it's Yes - but you'll push through, Yes - if you're not like me and ignore water stations, and No - don't even think about it.

I was looking for a graphic to accompany this post, and I saw a saying that sums it up pretty succinctly: "Running is a Mental Sport and I am Insane". (Reminder: I have to go back and buy that T-Shirt.)

In a way, it's true.

You have to be a little bit crazy to run 26.2.

You also have to be driven, focused, committed, (the dedicated kind, not the put-in-asylum kind) and a glutton for punishment. I think a Marathon should give you two medals: one for finishing the 3 months of training, and one for finishing the race.

Fuck it - make it 3 - Taper week should get a medal of it's own as well.

I hated my Taper before my Marathon, I hated it before my last Half, and I'm going to be dreading it in October.  I can sympathize with what Triple T must be going through. My only suggestions are lots of coffee (that's my solution for most things) and try not to stab anyone.

The Mental part of my Running right now is different - I'm waiting to start my Training for October - I'm "in between" programs right now, so I'm just doing maintenance runs - Tempo, Intervals, Hills (sorta) and a 10 mile Long Run every weekend. It takes mental effort just to stay focused and to not slack off and think "In May, I'll just pick up where I left off.". As any runner will tell you, it's easy to lose that foundation you've worked so hard to build up - now that I have mine back, I'm not going to lose it again.

My mental focus is on getting ready for the training to begin. Making sure I'm ready for what it's going to take to do my best in October. Getting ready for the miles, the stretching, and even the Taper.

I'm willing to skip that last part.

So I sympathize with Triple T and what she's going through in the week before her Marathon.

What exactly is she going through?

Why don't you look here and see?

Tell her I sent ya - and that she's going to do just fine.


1 comment:

  1. This brought tears to my eyes. I just put on a bunch of black eye make-up tho, so I had to tip my head backward and dab so I don't show up at a client meeting looking as insane as I feel!

    Thank you.

    And I'm proud as hell that you are not dropping it all in between races. I may ask you to crack the whip for me after Saturday: my mind says if I can keep at a 12 - 15 mile rotations for long runs, I'll be better for it for the next race.

    Thank you, again. For reals.