So, I’ve got a long couple of weeks ahead of me work-wise, and my attemps at avoiding mental/emotional stressed out breakdown lasted about 5 hours today (for reals). Trying to develop a new mental strategy for the workdays reminded me of the popular belief that running is a mental sport.
I completely agree with this theory – if you set out on a run or race thinking it’s going to suck, chances are it will. Just like I set out this morning thinking today (and the next couple of weeks) will suck. Well, today certainly did. Tomorrow (and the next days) won’t, and it’s because I’m changing my ‘tude accordingly.
Here’s a great article on how the mind and body work together for runners, but I think the key learnings can be applied elsewhere as well. As for running, here’s a prime example of how feeling great mentally translated to a great physical performance (in this case, a race) for me.
The 2010 NYC Half Marathon was a big deal for me – I’ve run all of the previous NYC Halfs except ’09, but this time I was raising money and running for a charity very close to my heart. My mom and sister were coming to town to cheer me on (I never have a legit cheering section!).
If you know this race, you know the first half is a loop around Central Park and the toughest part of the course. I told my mom and sis to park themselves on Seventh Avenue outside the park at around mile 8, when the loop ends and the run through Times Square and down the West Side Highway to the finish begins.
Instead of dreading the whole hilly loop and losing my mojo for the second half of the race, each step made me more and more excited to see them cheering for me. When I finally got there I felt awesome – their cheers and high fives just made me glide by even faster, and carried me right through to the finish. It was the best race I’ve ever had for many reasons (and I PR’d!). Since my training wasn’t anything spectacular, I really believe it was my attitude and excitement that helped me get through the race feeling so great.
Positive attitude has been instrumental getting me through some tough stuff in the past year, but sometimes I forget that it’s also important in general everyday life and such. Well, here is my reminder. Hold me accountable, blog readers!
Today’s eats weren’t anything special and besides breakfast, were inhaled at my desk as I was working away. Sorry for the lack of visual representation – next time!
Whatever you do tonight/tomorrow, I hope it’s great! 🙂
Question: How has your attitude affected a recent run, race or day in geneal?