Monday, February 13, 2012

Flexing My Mental Toughness


I am currently working through a book in preparation for the Salt Lake City Half. It is called Mind Gym and it is about developing mental toughness, specifically as it relates to physical endurance. It is pretty interesting even though it references sports analogies that sail right over my head. It might be working. Why do I think that? Well something weird happened on my long run Saturday morning.

I met Miz Liz at Liberty Park. In classic frazzled fashion, I forgot my Garmin. We decided to stick to running only around the park's track so that we could later measure the distance (thanks mapmyrun). I knew that the park trail was roughly 1.25 - 1.5 miles in distance. We ran laps and kept track of them on Reggie's dirty window.
2 laps done!
We planned to go 4 laps. If the exact distance turned out to be only 1.25 miles, then 4 laps would be 5 miles. After the third lap, Liz was running short on time. I would normally consider quiting before our planned distance unacceptable, but considering she was off to run a race in snowshoes I decided to let it slide. A lazy slacker she is not.
"This is just my warm-up!"
So three laps put us at roughly 3.75 miles (was guessing). Liz had to take what to do? What to do? Should I call it a day too? NO! What was I going to do? Show up at my hair appointment early and bide my time reading a book about how to be a tougher athlete? The irony would just have been too great. I decided to finish up my run on my own......with no running partner.....and no iPod. The book is working!!
I had started the stopwatch on my iPhone when we began running. I figured even at a slow pace, 55 minutes would equal 5 miles. I decided to run until I reached 55 minutes. It was great practice for the half. The shot above marks mile 10 of the half....where "feeling great" transitions to "why do I do this to myself". Mental toughness ACTIVATE. I later mapped my route and it turns out that Liz and I covered 4.20 miles. My add on took me to 5.40 miles!

Thank you Mind Gym.
“Competitive toughness is an acquired skill and not an inherited gift.” -Chris Evert


Sweets, do you consider yourself a tough mental athlete?


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