Saturday, May 26, 2018

The Mental Game

Last we spoke, me and running weren't on the best terms. My legs took much longer than expected to regain any sort of life after the Illinois Half Marathon. The following weekend, I cut my long run short and couldn't even consider trying to run the workout. ALL runs for almost 2 weeks were "recovery runs." My legs had hit a wall and needed some serious rest. 

Speedy and I agreed that my body needed to be reset. True RnR. No active recovery in the pool or on the bike. No running. For 3 whole days. It was... miserable.

Ryan's response after I told him how bad my long run was the week after Illinois

I did what I was told. I came home from work and twiddled my thumbs. I cleaned my house. I went to Wrigley Field one night (because come onnnnnn a girl's gotta do something with all her free time!) I got multiple massages. I made sure to give my hamstring some extra TLC. My left hamstring might not have been an issue on race day, but I could definitely tell it was more tired/tight/sore than my right hamstring at all times. I've sat in my boots more than ever this past month. I recently invested in a tens unit that has turned into a true Godsend. After I used my mother's tens unit a few weeks ago, I was sold on how well it triggered deep into my muscle. It's so simple really, but it took so long for me to put the pieces together. It's safe to say that I zap my leg back to reality about once a day now.

A little shock to the system never hurt no one ;)

Last weekend my legs were FINALLY ale to pull out 16 miles and nail the workout at the same time. It wasn't a struggle to hold my steady pace. My legs didn't fight me. I felt fluid. I felt smooth. I felt like I could have set the cruise control Three weeks post Illinois Half Marathon, it's about fricken' time. If only you knew how much I needed that run, mentally.

I'm about to head out the door for my biggest training run in almost 2 years, 20 miles with a workout mixed in. To say I'm not nervous would be a lie. My body has been through alot recently. So has my mind. And double digit mileage is usually when the body starts to really break down. But there's something about breaking that 20 mile barrier that can really mess with your head.

What endurance athletes do best

The glycogen storage is depleted around mile 20. Your body starts running off of fat instead of glucose (because your glucose is damn near gone) at mile 20. And your mind... your mind starts to play tricks on you. It's been said by many runners, the marathon doesn't even start until you finish your 20 mile warmup. Combine that with the lack of glucose in your body you best hope that the voice between your ears keeps your legs moving at the rate you can only pray for.

But Megan, you've run 20 miles so many times! So many races, so many Ironman's, so many training runs! Right... but I've never cared about the clock as much as I do this time around.


I like where my mental space is at at the moment. Which is why I wanted to make sure I told the world about this daunting workout I'm about to do. I want you all to keep me accountable. Ask me about the run. Text me. Call me. Message me. Demand the truth about the run. Because as of today we're officially 3 weeks away from Grandma's, and I need all of my spare thoughts and energy to be focused on this race.


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