May: Month of Mental toughness

I am …done with you, May.

I am pushing off my usual friday post to talk about May. In all honesty I want to forget about May, but since I have a half marathon tomorrow morning I needed to bring it up one last time while thinking about what I want out of tomorrow.

Lots went on during that month. I felt like emotions were always at two extremes – either AMAZING, fun, uplifting week(ends) or lonely, frustrating, and stressed out week(ends). There seemed to be no balance. The reality was that I had a lot on my mind. I was searching for housing (and we all know how stressful that can be). I was began wrapping up the end of the school year. I was starting a new training plan (more on that in a bit). I was also ending my initial committment of teaching with Teach for America and was facing some “what do I do next?” anxieties for the fall – lots of changes in the school and some changes in my teaching line made me nervous for next year. I knew I want to stick with it, but that “here’s your way out” tackled my mind during those longer, exhausting days that working with adolescents can entail. At the end of it all, it felt like a rollercoaster of a month that I want to wrap up and move on.

I am really excited about running with a bunch of gals tomorrow, but am I physically or mentally ready for this half marathon…? I don’t know.

I started a new training plan with only 3 quality runs per week (Run less Run faster) – long, tempo, and track. Although it allowed me to get back to the circuit/interval training and some yoga classes, the stress was building up when I wasn’t running. I hate to admit it because I KNOW this running plan is to prevent injury, but it took a beating at the mental game of asking “did I put in enough miles?” or stating “another day off from running…what!”. It just doesn’t work for me and I realize that now.

So what am I going to do to change that? I want to include stress-releasing runs (less than 6 miles/60 minute/easy pace) into my week either scattered the day after a tough run to shake out the legs, in the morning to wake me up, or piggybacked onto a cross training day. I understand the overall purpose of why I chose the training plan that I did and granted, this is *not* the race that I’ve been training for, but I want to kick this mental game in the bud while I still have more than half of my training to go.

Naturally, what about tomorrow then? I have viewed this as a fun run with some girls. In fact, if it weren’t for them and the proximity of the half, then I wouldn’t have considered this race.  I am curious to see how this race will go since I have done many runs along the course and know it pretty well. I am always banking on a PR. It’s in me, but I don’t feel well trained like I deserve the PR (Gasp…I know. Throw rocks at me) due to how early it is in my training plan and the above reflection of my plan.

I have definitely been close to PRs in my other two halfs this year. As a result, although my training doesn’t feel like it’s there, I feel like the energy and heart I’ve put into getting back into running could carry me to one.

So I will restate my overall goals I’ve had for past races. These are things I’ve been working on for the past 5 months.

I hope to pace below a 10 min/mile for the race.

I hope to race SMART and be aware of my breathing.

I hope to kick this race’s ass or feel comfortable in a mutual beating as long as it leads to feeling like I *know* why I run these again.

Oh yeah, and good riddance, May.

Bring it on. The 6th month of June for my 6th half marathon. Thank God, it isn’t on Sunday, the 6th. HA.

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5 Responses to May: Month of Mental toughness

  1. jeri says:

    oooh best of luck this weekend! I hope your race goes awesome. have fun and good luck! 😀

  2. Good luck! I have lived in four apartments in my five years of grad school so I COMPLETELY understand how living situation uncertainty can weigh on your mind. I hope that all that stuff is settled and that you finish your race with a smile.

  3. sarah says:

    Go rock the half marathon in Alameda!!! You can doooo it 🙂

  4. Hey,

    random, I just saw that you are from IN–NY–CA… so funny. I am from Ohio–New York–CA! Where did you live in NY?

    I feel you on May. It was just like that for me, too. I am leaving it behind me.

  5. Pingback: Running on faith: A play on words | Running on Faith

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