I’ve had a few good runs, a few great runs and one awful hell of a run since I last posted.

The wind hasn’t let up yet, so I’ve been staying indoors to run. Either way, I am running outside tomorrow.

I challenged myself on my Sunday Long Slow Distance to take as few walking breaks as possible. I managed to do it with just one walk break at the 5k mark. I finished 10k in 1:04… Better than my race time. Granted, it was on a treadmill versus outdoors… I did incline the treadmill to try to accommodate for it.

Sunday night I spent some time researching mental training… How people keep themselves going during a race. The Runners World forum was a great resource for running mantras. I marked down a few of my favourites and planned to write them on my arm the next time I ran.

Tuesday, my next day to run, came along and I jotted the following on my arm in Sharpie:

  • smiley face (to remember to smile through the tough parts)
  • Owen (my son’s name)
  • DAB (husband’s initials)
  • I feel awesome!
  • Easy, smooth, light, fast

As planned, I ran slightly faster than Sunday. What wasn’t completely planned was finishing the 8k with only one walk break at the 5k mark. I made myself smile though the tough parts and told myself out loud (but quietly) that I felt awesome. I referred to Owen and Derek’s names on my arm too. The longer mantra of “Easy, smooth, light, fast” didn’t make the cut… I did refer to it once, but it didn’t really invoke any feelings of motivation. I will try something new next time… I have quite a few more to try out.

Yesterday was speed training day. Holy hell, was it ever hard. I keep reading about the torture of speed work and I never understood where everyone was coming from. I had been doing it wrong… Speed work on a treadmill is not even close to the same as speed work off the treadmill. Derek and I went to the Eastlink Centre after months of avoidance. I took to the indoor track… As soon as I started my first 400m interval, I knew it was going to be much harder. Maybe it was the air… It felt very warm on that track versus being outdoors or being a chilled basement on a treadmill with a fan blowing gloriously cool air at me. I definitely run on the hot side and I much prefer to run cooler. I made it through my 7 x 400m intervals, grudgingly. I tried telling myself that I felt awesome, but only in my head. I think it definitely must at least be mouthed to be somewhat convincing. I was scared to smile as I ran… I felt way too serious and probably really needed to loosen up and smile. I think I was worried about looking crazy.

There was a guy on the track running faster than me… He looked like he was out on a quiet morning jog. I know I can’t compare myself to (a) a guy and (b) someone much more fit than me, but it was hard not to get pissed off. He did drive me at some points, making myself continue with a stomach-churning pace when I just wanted to quit.

The race is next week and I’m on the fence about how well I will do. If I’ve learned anything from reading on mental training is that a lot of the result will depend on my mind and confidence.

Do you have a training mantra?