A blog about my journey as an athlete and a woman. Come step into her shoes...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Are You Mentally Ready?

I got in almost a full 8 hours of sleep last night! I have an hour Kettle Bell class this morning, so I needed to make sure I fueled up. I made a nice big bowl of yummy oats. The best bowl I have had in awhile.

food 148

food 149

The key to this bowl was the 1/2 Honey Graham Z bar+ Naturally Nutty Chocolate Butter Toffee PB!! 

food 150

With a cup of French Press, DD coffee, in my world travelers mug:)

food 151

As I gear up mentally for SDRR Marathon, (17 days away) I began to think of all the things I have learned from my past 3 marathons.

First 10 Miles:

Start out slow. I took off way to fast at the Boston Marathon, running 7 minute miles! Take it slow. I know if I keep my pace steady at the beginning my body will thank me in the end.

Run my own race. Don't be worried if I see a lot of people passing me. Something I have struggled with in other marathons is thinking I wasn’t going fast enough,because of the folks that were speeding by me! I have to remember, they may be starting out way too fast, so I’ll catch them later at my own pace!

Don't get too emotional. Try to stay as calm as possible for the first 10 miles. At the St.George Marathon I almost broke down because I was getting too emotional. I will need to conserve my mental energy for the ENTIRE race!

Miles 11-20:
Break up the race. Start breaking up the race into smaller segments. It will make the distance and feel more manageable. When I pass the half marathon mark I only have one more half to go, and at the 20 miler mark I could say just a 10k and I am done!

Stay mentally tough. A runners mental toughness will really start to be tested during these miles. I need not to give into periods of self-doubt and discomfort. I need to remember all the training that I have done and have faith in it. I need to constantly think about how hard I have worked and how rewarding it will be to complete the race.

Beat boredom. Do whatever it takes to keep my mind occupied: I can sing songs, play mental games, count people, talk to other runners(I am hoping to run along side Meghann).

Miles 21-26.2:

Think outside my body. These are the miles I feel the most pain! I know will certainly feel tired. I need to let my mind take over from my body and try to focus on the outside -- the spectators, the other runners, the scenery.

Set small milestones. I need to break up the course, mile by mile. Start counting down the miles and the minutes.

Talk to myself. At this point in the race, I need to dig down deep for extra strength. Reminding myself what I have sacrificed( sleep, social time) to get to this point!!

Do you have any tips??? Oh I am getting excited!!!

Time to hit the road, bike and all!!! HAPPY THURSDAY!


Amy said...

Ah, good luck! I have NOT run a marathon yet so I can't offer any marathon advice.

But I have raced a lot, and I am a big fan of mantras and prayer during the last tough few miles. If you find yourself thinking, "I can't do this...", turn whatever you're thinking into a positive: "I CAN do this."

I ran the last part of a marathon with a friend, and we came to a tiny hill.. but it felt like a mountain to her after running 24 miles. She said, "This hill is a b!tch", to which I replied, "This hill is YOUR b!tch."

Anyways, maybe that helps! I look forward to reading about how your race goes. :)

Brandi said...

i like amy's suggestion of turning negatives into positives RIGHT then and there.

great tips you posted! i've never run anything CLOSE to a marathon, but I know running is so mental for me, even just running 3 miles sometimes. You and Meghann are going to do awesome!

awesome bowl of oats ;)

Pearl said...

bobbi - what great race tips!
have a wonderful thursday!

RunningLaur said...

Great tips! I'll have to bookmark this to look at in 5 months!

Anne said...

Good luck, I know you'll do great! I've never run a marathon, and I'm not even close to the amazing runner you are! But I agree with the others-- just stay positive! Running can be such a mental sport, and you can't get down on yourself. Whenever I start thinking negative thoughts, things automatically begin to feel so much harder physically. So just stay optimistic and strong, and rock that marathon!

maria k said...

im freaking out for my first marathon on sunday, so im glad to read your tips! ill keep them in mind as i chug through the race : )

RunToFinish said...

OMG why do people keep posting days left, i'm freaking out! :)

yeah I have no tips...just run...try to enjoy it...it's crazy and amazing

Christina Medina said...

Those are all techniques I employed (halfway there-just a 10k, just a 5k to go, positive self-talk, etc). You know, I don't think I got bored during the marathon but that's a good idea to sing or count lol. I ran the marathon alone but really wish I would have had a partner! :) I feel like I've said this before but for me it truly came down to being able to defy your pained/aching muscles with your brain by saying "I know it hurts" (or you can deny that it hurts-but that personally makes it harder for me) "but that pain will go away as soon as you finish (which it really does) SO KEEP GOING." Again, that was for my first, and last, marathon but I will never forget that experience because it was one of the hardest mental tasks I ever endured!

Emily said...

A kettle ball class, oooh, that sounds awesome! I'm so jealous! -e

Melissa @ For the Love of Health said...

Bobbi- I love how you set the run up in stages! I noticed that you and I do similar things. It's so important to mentally conquer the run because I believe that to be the biggest challenge.

I made a small contribution to your race!! I hope it helps!! :-)

Melody said...

Hi Bobbi! Thanks so much for those tips! San Diego will be my first marathon, so I'm going to need every tip I can get. It's so helpful knowing that other people hit those places where they don't know if they can keep going or where they need some mental way of getting themselves through. I know I've had a lot of those times.

I haven't run a marathon yet, but one thing that gets me through some of my very long training runs is knowing that this WILL pass. I WILL get through this! The first time I ever hit a really significant mental wall was in the last few miles of an 18 mile training run. I thought for sure that I would not make it. I started to feel really frantic inside, thinking, "I have to stop, I have to stop! What in the world am I doing running 18 miles?! This is insane! Maybe I can stop someone driving by and have them take me home." It was really bad! But I just made myself keep going and then all the bad thoughts started to clear and I didn't feel so frantic anymore. Now that I've been through that wall a few times, I know one thing for sure: it WILL go away; I WILL make it through no matter how badly it sucks at the moment. Reminding myself of that and trying to stay positive like everyone else mentioned, helps me get through.

Lacey Nicole said...

woo hoo! i'm printing this out to use as guidelines for myself! :) thanks bobbi! btw, i had french press coffee for the first time when i visited a friend in nyc a couple of weekends ago- delish!

Danielle said...

Your tips couldn't have come at a better time Bobbi! I am running my first marathon in Cleveland on Sunday... I'm going through a ton of emotions right now- nervous, excited, anxious...

Thanks again!

Mica said...

I saved this post to read before my first marathon in the fall. Thanks for all the great advice!

Anonymous said...

In one day I read at least two blogs mentioning how awesome the Chocolate Butter Toffee Peanut Butter was...so I went and bought 1 jar of that, 1 honey roasted cinnamon PB and a natural almond butter. MmmmmM, can't wait!

Regarding mentally preparing for the marathon...I got this idea from Kristen Armstrong (writer for runner's world...and yes, Lance's ex-wife) and an article she wrote years ago (maybe 2005). Anyway, she wrote on her hand or on a bracelet the name of a person for each mile. Each name had a different emotional connection but she spent that mile thinking about memories, events, etc. I don't do this during the beginning of a race but from 20+ I have done this and it works wonders. At times I may want to fall apart crying because I give the last mile to my father always, but still....it is a distraction.

Happiness Awaits

down and out chic said...

first of all you breakfast looks delicious. second of all, i'm completely impressed with your tips for a marathon, but i'm not sure i could even run a mile if money was involved. yeah, pretty sad.

Ashley and Bo said...

WAHOOO You're running San Diego!! !I'm so excited for you!!!!!!

Alison said...

What is a kettle ball class like?

3T Heppenstall said...

Sounds like you have it all figured out. Good luck with your race! Can't wait to hear all about it!

Lauren said...

Okay, so I am running my first 1/2 marathon this September and I have been training for months. I've only done a few small races, but running in any race as compared to running any other time, is still entirely different.

Great tips! I think the only thing I have done to help me through is pray, tell myself over and over how strong I am, and of course sing songs in my head (and sometimes outloud. :)

Wow girl, good luck. I can't wait to hear about this marathon.
Take care Bobbi!

Dia said...

I'm a dancer, not a runner, but my son-in law is preping for the 'hood to coast' this fall, not having run a martathon for awhile (he's a GOOD runner, & has spent a lot of time running)
I've been making my own granola with agave nectar & coconut oil - yummy yummy!! My granddaughters helped me with a project, then wanted some bedtime granola - we had it with coconut milk - delish!! some recipes over at the Vale . . .

megan said...

wow great tips! Running is so mental. I'm not very fast, and I tend to get down on myself mentally pretty easily. I caught myself doing this last weekend in my 10K race - saying things like "wow i'm so slow, all these people are passing me" but then I switched it around and said "I am running my own race, I am thankful to God that I can run, I am not racing against these people, I am so proud of myself for getting out here and doing this!" and it totally made a difference :) a 10k is definitely not a marathon, but sometimes with my mental state it feels like longer than it is! :)

Andrea (Off Her Cork) said...

Remember that we are all thinking about you and supporting you! :D Rock on sister!