Kelly the Culinarian: Good Run v. Bad Run Mental Game

Monday, August 4, 2014

Good Run v. Bad Run Mental Game

Sweaty Kelly is sweaty
I had two very different runs in the past week. It started with a 14-mile shit show on Sunday that had me doubting myself, my training and the meaning of life. Yesterday, however, was the same mileage, same course, same time of day, with totally different results. Sure, there are roughly 4,982 variables in any given run, but what changed this run was:

  • It was less humid
  • I brought a bigger handheld water bottle
  • I wore tight compression shorts and body glide (yeah .... running is glamorous)
  • I drank a half a gallon of water before I started
  • I ate a lighter pre-run snack
  • I had better post-run beer waiting (I'm highly food motivated)
    Motivation, now in liquid form
Also, my head was in the game much more. For the sake of comparison, here were my thoughts during my worst run ever:
"Why does this hurt?"
"I must have traveled more than five miles. There can't possibly be nine miles left."
"Why are these people running so fast?"
"Crap, I have thoughts to contribute! Must. Not. Pass. Out."
"Will these people keep running if I stop?"
"Ironman finishers do not have to walk when running 14 miles."
"Humidity is the devil." 
Even my GPS was like, NOPE
"This run is the devil."
"I am in hell."

Then a mere seven days later, I had a glorious run in which all the stars aligned. My head was in a totally different place:

"Look at all the deer!"
"Stomach is iffy, but it'll get better."
"The breeze feels nice."
"I'm lucky I can run like this."
"Slow and done > fast and still walking back."
"A nap this morning will feel great after this."
"I am so getting an iced coffee after this. DD take me away!"

Solution: I need to get my head in the game, avoid the humidity as much as possible and remember that running is a gift. Not everyone can do this, so savor it.


Losing Lindy said...

I had the same type of run on Saturday on the dready.. .3 in I am thinking there is no way I can manage 7 miles...finally after about 4 miles I was ok and good to go...slow..because I am slow..but my mind wasn't playing games anymore

kathyo said...

With you on the mental thing..some days feel like hell because my head isn't in the game..but some days humidity really is the devil. Looks like your getting back into a training groove tho :)

Zenaida Arroyo said...

Love reading the thoughts and comparing both of your runs. I did two 14 milers two weeks apart and each one was very different too. Yes, it is a mind thing.