Running is so Mental


I had an awesome 8 mile run on the treadmill yesterday morning with 6 miles at half marathon pace.

When I say half marathon pace, you may be wondering if that implies I have decided to definitely run the NYCRUNS Falling Leaves Half Marathon in two weeks.

I still haven’t decided.

I’ve sort of been ignoring that a decision needs to be made while sort of considering my emotions towards running a half marathon right now all while still following along with my training plan anyway.

It’s not like I don’t enjoy running or that I don’t want to complete the workouts in the training plan, I just don’t really know if I truly feel up to running a half marathon right now (because I don’t just run them for fun) and here are some of the reasons why:

I’ve hardly had the chance to run outdoors lately.

The dark mornings keep me running on the treadmill several days a week which is fine but I really need to be running outside (especially for speed workouts) in order to be in touch with what my pace should feel like during a half marathon.

I need to feel myself running outside at a race pace so that my brain and legs connect and agree on the race pace feeling. Does that make sense?

I can run at race pace on the treadmill because I set the machine to make the belt move at such pace.

Outside though, I need to mentally push my legs to the desired pace and understand what that push feels like and I don’t feel as though I have had much opportunity to recognize that feeling.

faaling leaves half marathon training

Mentally I have been in another place.

Although I am recovering well from the Bar Mitzvah over the last few days, the last several weeks have been insane and I have been distracted.

Majorly distracted.

Running is so much more mental than physical for me sometimes that without my brain being interested and engaged in so many of the half marathon workouts, I just don’t know if I feel mentally ready or interested in running a race right now.

I don’t feel as though I have been training.

I think this part still falls under mental but I just don’t feel as though I have been training for a half marathon for the last six weeks. This may all have to do with how distracted I have been for so long with the Bar Mitzvah so even though my workouts have happened more often than not, everything is just a big blur.

It’s also possible that I haven’t felt like I have been following a training plan since the weekly mileage hasn’t increased beyond what I normally run or maybe it’s because I have run the workouts in the past. I don’t really know and can’t really explain it but I just feel so weird about the training.

I have a Bar Mitzvah to attend the same day as the half marathon.

While I can totally do both, do I want to? Do I want to be dragging and tired at night? Will I be comfortable in heels after running a race?

Anyway, back to yesterday’s treadmill run.

I have been sleeping so well this week that I woke up rested and ready for a good workout. My training plan called for 6 miles at half marathon pace.

Upon first glance at this workout, I was slightly nervous that maybe I wasn’t ready for such an intense workout based upon my mood lately but then I quickly switched gears and said of course I can do it.

Running is so mental.

Had I told myself I couldn’t do it or mentally felt as though I couldn’t keep up, I would have stopped the treadmill within minutes or never even attempted to run at half marathon pace.

I think my legs have really been fresh and ready to run this entire training cycle, it’s the mental part that’s been missing.

Yesterday, I had both the mental and physical parts working together.

I wanted to run.

I wanted to complete these 6 miles at a half marathon pace and didn’t care if I felt any fatigue because mentally, I wanted this run to work which made all the difference.

Mile 1: warm up

Miles 2, 3, 4: between 7.5 – 7.7

Miles 5, 6, 7: between 7.5 – 8.0

Mile 8: cool down

Did I feel tired? Maybe at mile 4 but I wasn’t stopping because my brain said keep going. I actually felt great.

Do I feel ready for a half marathon? To be determined.

Tomorrow morning I will get outside for my long run which involves something like 9 miles easy with the last 4 miles at half marathon pace. I think that after this long run, I will be best able to make my decision about the race.

Have a great weekend!

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Do you find running to be mental for you?

What are you doing this weekend?

How often do you run on the treadmill vs. outside?

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  1. says

    Oh you know me, that running is SO MENTAL for me. Running translates into life but life sure translates back into running too. All that being said, I think you’d be just fine running the half marathon, if you want to. Don’t worry so much about the treadmill runs! You are an experienced runner and your body knows what to do. Your long run tomorrow will be a good reminder. Oh, and do you guys put your clocks back this weekend? I’m looking forward to having lighter mornings!
    Suzy recently posted…The ConfessionalMy Profile

    • says

      thank you for the encouragement and reminders! I am an experienced runner, you are so right. mentally I think I forgot that too lol. and no, we don’t change our clocks until next weekend! ugh. they actually change the night before the nyc marathon. I hope it doesn’t screw the runners up. at least it will be light for them as they wait!

  2. says

    Running is all mental for me with my brain usually saying, “I don’t wanna.” It really is my least favorite workout (I’d rather be spinning or doing an intense HIIT class), yet it’s the easiest to do since you can do it anytime, anywhere. These days, I’m thinking about trying to utilize the elliptical in our basement.
    Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets recently posted…Currently: October 2016My Profile

  3. AmandaM says

    I can completely relate to this. Running is SO mental for me. But also physical. I was super stressed for the past 2 years while my house was being gutted and renovated. All my mental energy went into worrying about it and living amidst the mess. Well, now the house is done and it’s beautiful and I’m happy and starting to get back to running. But wowser, my body is having a hard time running. Over those stressful 2 years, I went to the gym every single day and stayed in cardio shape but my muscles got weak, I lost weight, and don’t yet have the strength to run well. That said, I’m excited to gain strength and get back into it slowly with no timeline. Goals are good!
    Anyway, I ramble. But I understand too what you mean about how you want to FEEL like you’re training. And then execute on race day. It seems like you are like me in that a race should feel special and something you’ve prepared for and put effort into. Otherwise why do it? It takes the specialness away maybe?

  4. says

    I totally get what you are saying regarding the 1/2–you want to be in the right mental state to do it! Hope you get some answers after your long run!

    It’s just me and Reagan all weekend–the boys are on an annual college football game trip! She has no school today—-so all girlie stuff all day–should be fun!

    Enjoy your weekend!
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  5. says

    I feel you so much here girl, because I have gone through the same thing. I’ve had the ability to run a certain distance, but my brain just isn’t ready to do it. It’s amazing how God made us a beautiful mix of a whole person, brain, body, and soul, and you can’t really divide any of them even when it comes to running. Running is definitely not just a physical activity. I’m curious to hear what you decide! 🙂
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