After a mentally challenging month I dubbed “No Run December,” I’m back on the asphalt. The year started with a few ticklers, then on Saturday, decided to get a honest reading on my fitness.
When I start running, I often have no idea how far I’m going. I just take off up the street and play it by ear, but sometimes that gets me in trouble. I don’t have mental capacity for walking back home and often find myself in serious pain at the end of runs. I suppose that strategy ultimately helped me at Wisconsin, but it’s an entirely different deal when you are 5 miles in with four miles back to your house.
None of it was easy, but I kept repeating, “don’t quit” in my mind. Once you stop running, you’re sunk.
Stopping to walk is a hard habit to break and I don’t want the addiction. I’ve gone through some pretty intense training for Ironman, and really believe branding “non-stop” mentality into my brain was one of the toughest things to do.
I only ran 9 miles on Saturday and half of it was hell. The good news for me, though, is that most of my struggles were cardio. My legs felt pretty strong and I “proved” to myself I’m still in pretty decent shape.
Ironman 70.3 in New Orleans is the only race on my calendar at the moment and I feel relatively secure, but know I have to pick it up if I want to hit my time goal. But, patience is the key. We have to be patient . . . with everything.
I have to let the story unfold. Just because I can’t do it, understand it, or visualize it now, doesn’t mean I won’t be ready then. I have to trust the process and peak when the time is right. New Orleans is a race along the way, but it’s not my primary goal. Louisville is king and I want to peak on that day. Not now, not the day after, but on August 24th.
But, I also want to enjoy the process. It is a methodical journey of finding solutions and motivational tactics. It is about sticking with the plan and believing you will rise to the challenge.
Note: I sort of borrowed the concept for that title from one of my favorite Yogi Berra quotes: “Baseball is 90% mental, the other half is physical.”