Saturday, August 20, 2011

Pom Poms & Bobby Socks

It's August.  Not only that, it's LATE in August.  Do you know what this means?

This is my favorite part of MTT.  The really challenging running is about to start.  This is where the work is, and this is what we're all about.  I'm excited to say it... we're headed into the big miles my friends.  ISN'T THAT AWESOME?

~awkward pause~

(s'ok, my friends say that about me too)

The long hard runs are where you see what you're made of... and the nice thing about doing it with a group like MTT is that if you find you're lacking, all the energy and support of the runners around you can help carry you through on the tough days.  

And you want to talk about bonding moments?  Nothing brings runners together like running down Westham Parkway talking about Will Ferrel.  I once had a coach pass me & some friends on his way to whatever it is he was on his way to, overhear our SNL impersonations, and slow down to join us for a mile.  

I like a lot of cowbell when I'm running a marathon

Or if not Will Ferrel, what about those "remember that time" stories that we all save.  If you haven't been saving them, get with the program.  Those are the kinds of things that make people want to slow down and run with you.  Did I ever tell you about the time I ended up on the worst date ever? In a grave yard? With my co-worker's son?

No?  Well, if you want to hear it, you're just going to have to show up to the SNOW 20 miler in a few weeks.

But these super long runs aren't just about hanging with your peeps, recapping bad dates that happened 20odd years ago, and whining about the hills of Riverside Drive.  They're not about noting to eachother how the Lee Bridge is like a giant treadmill (or is that a dreadmill?) and how it seems to go forever. 

Yes, these things are entertaining and all, but everyone needs to try to remember that for some of us, some aspects of marathon training demand attention.

I'm super energetic sock girl!  I'm here to have fun! ...sure.

But, I'm also here to work.

If you've run a marathon before then you know what I'm talking about.  There's a lot of mental training that goes with running a marathon.  Particularly if you're going to be running it alone.  It's easy to get caught up in the "I can't hold this pace for another step" routine.  It's easy to get caught up in "I can't even walk another step, must less run another step".  

The way I like to see it...  These long runs are an opportunity to say to yourself, "Don't take no for an answer" and then test that resolve.

Sometimes that means I don't have the energy to carry the pom poms with me on the run.  My MTT Cheerleading bobby socks and two tone pleated skirt are being turned in for compression socks and a running skirt.  

This is me, publicly admitting that my plan is to be a little selfish in the next few weeks.  I have to look out for me.  So for the moment, if you see me out running on Sunday Funday, and I don't seem like 'my-SUPER FUN-self', take a moment and reflect on that thought.

I am being myself.  

It just happens that I'm internalizing and focusing on the moment while mentally preparing for the efforts that lie before me in November.

Ask yourself, What are you doing to mentally prepare you for 26.2?

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