Friday, February 24, 2012

A Mental Game (and a couple questions)

This morning, I donned my "glow belt" and headed out into the 0530 darkness to log a few miles before the day got started. (We are dropping off the dogs at a kennel and the baby at a friend's house and heading down to Wilmington for the evening to attend my husband's Dining In - it's a military function - with his folks. Oh, and I have an appointment to get my hair chopped so it's one busy day.) Yesterday's high temp was nearing 80, and this morning, it had cooled to about 70-degrees. Many of you think that's too warm, but this girl was thrilled! 

I set out to run anywhere from 3-5 at an 8:30 pace. (my goal pace for the half next month) Yesterday I kept a 7:37 pace, so I thought it would be no sweat. WRONG! Running is such a mental game for me (and probably about 99% of all runners, but this blog is about us:). I'm sure my legs and lungs were capable of holding a faster pace, but it took every ounce of mental resolve for me to keep running nearly a minute slower per mile today. What gives?!

Maybe it was a factor of not getting enough sleep the night before. I've been using these teeth whitening strips that have to go on twice a day. For the past two nights, I haven't put them on until close to 2300, meaning I'm up until at least 2330 before I can take them out. Or perhaps it's because today is the final day of our cleanse. Maybe my Saturday experience allowed me to talk myself into running a shorter distance today in a much slower time. I don't think it's a lack of rest for my legs, because I took Sunday off and ran short yesterday; however, my dog FREAKED OUT at the vet yesterday and did lay down some decent scratches/bruises on me:

He really is a good dog, but he was not happy about getting Bordatella in his nose so he demonstrated his UFC skills. It took me, a tech, and three docs to accomplish the task!

Whatever it is, it sucked and I need to figure out some tricks on how to kick my own butt into gear. I'm missing a run with my Stroller Warriors this morning, but I know they plan to finish with some strides, so I tacked on 6 to the end of my run and did feel pretty darn good about that, so I'm not totally fed up with myself. And miles are miles in my book, so it's all good.

Now for my questions:

1. What's the ideal distance when running strides?
2. How many strides should one do at any given time?
3. What's your favorite trick for overcoming your own mental obstacles?