Mind games

This is an excerpt from this week’s “Marathoning for Mortals”, the official Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon newsletter:

Training is 90% physical and 10% mental. Racing is 10% physical and 90% mental.

Think your way through training and the race. Start with a mental strategy and break the distance into smaller, more digestible pieces. It is much easier to mentally wrap yourself around running or walking a shorter distance than it is to think about digesting the entire distance from the start. Break it up by location on the map, or by distance, but either way it will give you a mental edge and propel your mental game.

Go in without expectations. You can never predict what race day will be like so going in without expectations won’t set yourself up for disappointment.

Just like life, you will go through highs and lows in every race. Expect the lows and enjoy the highs. On the last few miles/kilometers in the race, when things are usually the most challenging, think about a run you did while training when you felt strong.

If you have a few kilometers to go, think about a training course at home and visually work your way down through those last few kilometers. Fuel your head. If your blood sugar levels drop, your mind will begin to get foggy and negative thoughts creep in. Stay fueled with gels and Gatorade on the course and maintain a constant level of blood sugar to avoid those lows.

Back on the run

Now that the softball marathon has ended (9 games in 8 days!) I can get back on schedule and maybe let my scraped up leg heal!

I didn’t have to be at work til 10 this morning, so I took advantage and went for a 7K run already today. My legs and hips are a little sore/stiff from so much ball, but it was a pretty good run. Kept it slow and comfortable at just over 6:00/KM pace. I’m eager to be back on track this week, especially since today marks TWO MONTHS til the big day.

Schedule for the week looks something like:

Monday: 7K
Tuesday: off
Wednesday: 10K
Thursday: ball
Friday: 12K
Saturday: off (walking around Kingston)
Sunday: 27K

Change of plans

Between Thursday evening and Sunday evening, I will be playing a minimum of 7 softball games. This includes double-headers in both of my regular leagues (Thursday, Sunday) as well as a tournament starting on Saturday (3 games). And if we do well on Saturday, we will play additional game(s) Sunday morning. Softball is a blast and I play on two really fun teams, but this does not bode well for long diatance running. I’ve decided to “skip” my long run this weekend. I was scheduled for a 26K with 28K next week, so instead I’ll jump to 27K next week and should be on track for a 30K the following week.

(I can’t even believe I’m talking about running these distances! OMG.)

Otherwise, it looks like a quiet week. I’m giving my legs a second day off today and I’ll try to get out for some decent runs on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. So Week 12 looks something like:

Monday: off
Tuesday: off
Wednesday: 10K
Thursday: 6K + 2 games
Friday: 7.5K
Saturday: 3 games
Sunday: 5K + 2 games (won’t run if we have additional games)
= ~28.5K

The good, the bad, the ugly of a long Sunday run

The good:

I achieved yet another milestone today (this trend should continue each week if evrything goes according to plan) and ran my longest distance yet: 24K! It took 2 hours and 24 minutes for an average pace of 6:00 min/KM. That’s my target max for long runs, so I’m happy with it. Overall, it was a really good run. We were up at 5:45 and out the door just after 6. Hubby drove the car to Fairy Lake but I decided to run from home (3K) and met up with him there. I ran the 10-ish kilometre loop twice and it worked out beautifully to 24K.

You can view the run here: My MotionBased

The bad:

I felt a bit of discomfort in my hip at first but kept my pace slow til I warmed up and it loosened up. For the rest of the run, I didn’t even notice it. (Not exactly “bad” but I needed something to write here. :p)

The ugly:

It poured rain almost the entire time! It came down steadily for the first 15K, let up briefly, then started again. I was soaking wet and my feet were squishing in my shoes before I had even made it to Fairy Lake. Extremely uncomfortable! I completed several long runs in blizzards last winter, and it was better than the usual Southern Ontario humidity, so I can’t complain too much.

Back to the good. I must have done something right as far as fuelling because I had more energy than I did last week for 21K. Dinner last night was a hearty serving of pasta at an Italian restaurant. Got up and had a protein shake (mixed with water, NOT milk) and bowl of oatmeal. I brought water mixed with powdered magnesium as recommended by my nutritionist (not a fan of the metallic taste during a run) and ate 3 Clif Shot Blocks at about 10K and again at 16K.

Had another protein shake when I got home (with glucosamine sulfate) and a freezing cold bath to soothe the muscles. And now hubby is bugging me to hurry up and get off the computer so we can go get an early lunch! Time to recuperate some of the 2600 calories (according to Garmin) I burned this morning.

What now?

Not a heck of a lot to report this week, just a few mediocre runs and some hip woes.

Monday: Attended a funeral out of town for a dear friend’s father who was taken away far too soon. It was a sad day, but a lovely service. Arrived home late Monday evening, Pizza Pizza in tow. (oops)

Tuesday: Wasn’t feeling very well all day and went for a run too soon after work, while the sun was still high and its heat brutal. It was a slow and heavy 5K. Pretty much BLAH!

Wednesday: Met an old pal from my half marathon clinic for a 9K run at Fairy Lake. Waited til 8PM this time so it wasn’t nearly as hot, but I was still lacking energy. Overall, an okay run.

Thursday: Woke up with major hip pain in my right side (imagine that! NOT my left side) and noticed that it was affecting the way I walked – never a good sign. Played softball after work and had a really hard time running the bases. Oww! Took a cold bath when we got home.

Friday: Up with the sunrise in an attempt to beat the humidity (calling for 40C today). Hip felt a bit better so I attempted a run. Hip was not so good afterall. Had to take tiny strides and keep a very slow pace (between 6:30 and 7:00) to dull the pain. Yes, I should have turned around and gone back home but I didn’t get up at 5:30 for nothing.

Planning to take it extra easy tonight and tomorrow – lots of ice and stretching, probably another cold bath or two. My mileage will be down for the week but I need to let this hip get better (no idea what I did to it?!). With any luck, I’ll be okay for my 24K on Sunday. It’s always something, isn’t it??