Sunday, March 11, 2012

It's So Mental!

I just finished running my 25th race. That makes me a silver It just worked out to be my third 10K. Overall I have done the 3 10K's, one 5-mile run, one half marathon and 20 5K's. I think it's finally becoming second nature for me. The lifestyle of a runner is gaining on me and I have more races already scheduled. Right now I am trying to do two each month. That's as long as I can manage it.

This 10K had a very different element about it. You see about 2 weeks ago I started having some pain in my left foot. After some research I am pretty certain it is metatarsalgia. It's common to runners who are adding too many miles too fast. Yup, that's pretty much what I did. So in order to reach my half-marathon goal I have to scale back my training a little while at the same time increasing it. Sounds crazy doesn't it? Oh well - it's doable. I will spread my long runs out a little more and add shorter ones more frequently. The weird thing about this injury is that it really does not start to hurt until mile 2.5. It's almost like my foot says - "Here comes the two-and-a-half point - let her have it!"

I rested a couple of days and took some anti-inflammatory meds. But I still entered yesterday's race with quite a lot of anticipation. My 4.4 mile run on Wednesday had been so painful I don't even want to talk about it. The first turn around point was the 3K marker. I figured that was almost one-third and if the pain had started by then I could walk back. I had purchased a cushion to put under the ball of my foot but didn't get it until the day before the race so I really didn't trust it to make a difference. But I was going good at 3K so I kept going.

It wasn't too long until I saw the 5K marker and since I was half way I knew that there would be absolutely no turn around, but I was still very apprehensive about my time. However, when I got to the 7K marker I realized it had only been about 48 minutes and I had less than 2 miles to go. I started to push it a little although my foot hurt some. The pad under the ball of my foot allowed me so change my form a little and continue with very little pain. I am still slow as Moses or Christmas - but I did cut 3 minutes off my PR! That's with an injury - so I was okay with it.

It's funny how much mental work goes into racing. I always thought of the physical work but there is so much of it that has to be beat in the mind before the physical running can be pounded out. Since I have done a half-marathon any distance under that is doable to me now. I just think about how far I have run and it keeps me moving to the finish line. It's funny now that I am (slowly) getting used to longer distances how I view the 5K. It's like - it's only 3 miles! It's all about talking my mind into the run.

In life it is much the same way. What we can beat mentally - we can beat physically. This is why it is so important what we keep our minds on. When we stay focused on the problem- the problem remains in front of us. But if we can focus on the solution it will be reached eventually. Sometimes when we are facing difficult situations, the way our mind travels will dictate how we navigate through the struggle. I am finding that if I can keep positive thoughts or inspirational thoughts in front of me I can handle situations much easier and quicker. I draw my inspiration from God's word. I look at the accounts of those who have kept the faith through adverse circumstances and I figure if they could - I can too. That's how I keep running the race of life! Isaiah 26:3 says that God will keep those in perfect peace - whose minds are stayed on Him. It's all about keeping Him as our focus to help us run the race of life.

Keep running!

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