Tag Archives: racing

Mental Toughness

(I wrote this at the end of April, but it never made the light of day, for some reason.)

Now down to 8 days, 16 hours until the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon, which I will run. My first half in two years.

I’m pretty sure the fitness is there. Now I just have to see if I can cash in on the right mindset, the mental toughness. As I tweeted a while back, the body is something of a bullshit artist — you realize this when you get your second wind. But it’s really the mind that’s the bullshitter, of course. Matt Fitzgerald has written a lot about this. (I direct you to Brain Training For Runners as well as, Run: The Mind-Body Method of Running By Feel.)

Yesterday’s workout, a 13-mile progression run was hard, but by the afternoon I had pretty much forgotten about it. No race effort there. But I’m a bit bothered by how the mind convinced me to back off by the end of it. (Today, however, the body definitely reminded me that I’d done some running yesterday. Not so fast, partner.) Tomorrow I’m running some sort of tempo workout, I’ve not settled on the details yet.

Here are three articles I’ve thoroughly enjoyed on the mental part of the game:

Marathon Training: Is Your Goal Pace Too Easy?

Feeling good, being uncomfortable and suffering.

I Know Mental Toughness When I See it.

Splitsville

Haven’t quite processed this race, yet. Using some elementary math (even that’s not my strong suit), I reconstructed my mile splits, from the half-mile splits I was recording:

7:05, 7:17, 7:08, 7:14, 7:06, 7:11, 7:26, 6:35, 6:25, 6:39, 6:55, 7:26, 7:02

Also, on the data front — the race provided splits for:

5.9 miles: 41:46 (7:04 min/mile) and

7.2 miles: 51:07 (7:05 min/mile)

A couple of things emerge — first, my efforts on the two major hills were practically identical, the two 7:26 splits. I feel pretty good about the second one, becuase I was just hanging on at that point. Miles 8, 9, 10 and 11 basically tell a sad tale of positive splits, successively longer. I went nuts on the downhill. It worked out *okay*, but I suspect a more efficient race would probably have been a bit faster. The two young ladies blasted by me around mile 9 or 10, just as I was slowing down as I recall. Had I been running, say, something closer to 6:45 those miles, I might have rallied at the end. The race provided splits make me wonder if there isn’t some device error in my early splits. Both times indicate a pretty steady (overall) pace of about 7:05, makes me wonder…

Okay, time to split.