I started running in 2004. I had just moved to a new city and with not enough to do and too much to eat. I started gaining weight. I joined a gym and worked my way up to running three miles continuously. I was proud of my accomplishment and didn’t feel any drive to run further. Enter stage right, my tall, dark, and handsome neighbor. He suggested running a marathon together. I jumped (or rather ran) at the chance to spend 4 months of training with him. Unfortunately, 2 months into our training he met his future wife and I was left with a 26.2 mile race entry and little motivation.
I started reading books about what to expect, what to eat, how to train, and so on. They had entire chapters dedicated to the mental side of running. I have forgotten almost everything about those books, but I do remember two mental exercises suggested. The first was this: Every run is not going to be easy. There are going to be times when you want to quit. When your mind starts to tell your body it wants to stop, imagine your mind as a Blue-ray player. (when i was reading they said VCR 🙂 ) eject the DVD of your terrible run, and insert a DVD with a memory of the best run you’ve ever had. Focus on how your body felt in the good run. Focus on how the sun way the sun was shining on your skin. Focus on the good and don’t let the negative thoughts get you off track. The second mental mastery suggestion they had was to develop a mantra. Something that you could say to yourself when things got hard. I chose Feeling Good, Feeling Great. I remember running 10 miles and saying that to myself for almost half of the run.
To accomplish more redirect your mental energy by continuously reminding yourself of all the things you do right.
Both of these mental games were given as a way to redirect mental energy. Everyone of us has been guilty at one time or another of giving mental energy to a person, frustration, or situation that didn’t deserve our energy. Don’t keep yourself captive to a situation that you can’t change. Focus on the things that you do great. Focus on the sun of life shining on your skin 🙂 Focus on the good and don’t let the negative thoughts get you off track.