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I can do anything…

May 29, 2010 Fear, Fitness No Comments

… for 2 miles. Sometimes 2 minutes. Sometimes until I get to that driveway (and then the next, and then the next). Sometimes a cocktail when I’m finished.

These are the mental games I play with myself when I can’t imagine going the WHOLE WAY in one fell swoop. I ran 12 miles yesterday, marking the first time I’ve ever run to the end of Sawyer Camp Trail and back. It also marks the second-longest distance I’ve ever run. The first six miles felt fine; this is a standard distance for me and one I can do pretty easily. Miles 4.5 through six are uphill, so that was a bit of a challenge. At the turnaround, I stopped to stretch my right glute for about 30 seconds and headed back on my return trip.

“I can do anything for 2 miles.”

I just had to remind myself of this three times and I’d be finished. Easy!

Actually, the back half of the run felt better than the first and I had a negative split on it. However, by the time I got to the last 2.5 miles, I was breaking my pep talks down into smaller increments. “I can do anything for a half mile.” “I can do anything for 2 minutes.” “I can do anything for 30 seconds.” By thinking through all of these milestones, I forgot about that damn right glute cramp and that I needed to pee. (I did reward myself with Propel Fitness Water mixed with vodka when I finished.)

What I have learned is that nothing is so big or so daunting that it cannot be broken down into smaller, more manageable bites. More than 50% of being able to do anything is mental. Your body will keep going. Trust it. Find a way to make your mind believe it and watch what you can accomplish.

What are your tactics for breaking down the mental hurdles?

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