Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Countdown to Bermuda: Mental Toughness

My body is well trained! I can trust in my training. It's time to:

Running is 90% mental and to quote Yogi Berra the other half is physical.

All kidding aside, running is done with the mind, heart, body and soul.

When I hired a personal trainer in October of 2008 to see if I could get a little stronger and then, after reaching my initial goals of getting off of a low toilet seat and being able to pass the fitness test, I declared I would run the 2009 Boston Marathon despite never having run a day in my life. Talk about mental toughness! While we worked hard to train my body, she also trained my mind asking me questions like how are you going to get through Heartbreak Hill when everything inside of you is screaming please stop.

I answered that question on 4/20/2009 when I crossed the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon.

While I’ve had to be mentally tough since I was 5 years old to overcome the challenge of paralytic polio and then harness my mental prowess to survive 9 years of domestic violence as a child, it was hard for me to get consistent traction on my healing journey….until now.

The Force has been with me throughout my life and a good Jedi master knows that they must consistently trust and practice using The Force.

On Friday we ran our last long run training for the Bermuda Half Marathon. It was 11 miles in the cold with a headwind. I experienced back spasms during the run but, to quote Dr. Joe Dispenza, I thought greater than my circumstances. After the run I got into a hot epsom salts bath, meditated and bathed in the warmth and stunning realization that I have trained for the longest distance I have run since I trained for the 2009 Boston Marathon.

This morning we did a 1.25 shake out run in 6 degree temperatures. The alarm went off at 6:15 as it has every Tuesday for the past 6 months. 20 minute meditation to set the tone for the day and clear out anything that needed clearing to create a wonderful day. Planks, crunches and clams followed by a piece of toast, banana and water just as we have every Tuesday for the past 6 months. No fuel belt needed for a quick out and back run. We put on all the layers to brave the 6 degree temperature. Tom was quick to point out that there was a head wind as if I needed someone to point that out to me.

We were mindful of avoiding patches of ice and repeatedly commented that it’s bubble time; a phrase endurance runners use as they get close to race day after the training is completed that you want to put yourself in a bubble to make sure that you are in peak shape for race day. No illnesses, accidents or injuries with less than two weeks to go!

My goals for taper time and managing pre race jitters:
1. Stay relaxed - great advice from Coach Reno Stirrat
2. Trust the training and use The Force
3. Increase meditation and focus on visualization. Repeat runner affirmations
4. Stay relaxed.
5. See #1
6. Great advice from my dear friend Susan Stirrat “Don’t eat anything weird down there.”
7. Relax.
8. Pack for Bermuda
9. Enjoy every moment leading up to race day.
10.Celebrate what I've already accomplished exceeding all expectations and exercising mental toughness to prepare for 13.1 on 1/17!

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