Monday, February 1, 2010

My Mind is Ready

Before last night, I could not mentally get past a 4 mile run on the treadmill. The longest I have run on a treadmill was 6 miles and that has been at least a year or two ago (cant remember). This weekend I had an 8 mile run scheduled and that’s not something you can just put off till later. I was supposed to do the run Saturday but we had snow coming. Instead of the doing run that was scheduled for Saturday, I did the bike workout. I don’t think I’m getting enough from the bike so will be talking to Lance about finding my true thresholds for the bike. I LOOOVE the bike it’s my fav event! I digress…again (I seem to do that a lot in my blog).

Where was I? Oh snow and Ice; bike instead of run. I was hoping the road would be clear by Sunday for an evening run which is typically the case with snow in Charlotte, NC. Here one minute, gone the next. However, that was not the case. Sunday was still a pretty bad day; although, not nearly as treacherous and Saturday. A decision had to be made. I knew I had run 6 miles some time ago so I could at least run 6 miles. Then I bartered with myself that I could run 7 miles on the treadmill and we can call it even Steven for the last mile. I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate…hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, HATE running on the treadmill. I call in my mental toughness days. It takes more out of me mentally to run 4 miles on the dreaded treadmill than it does to actually run.

I told Kristi that I was going to only do seven miles instead of the 8. I had explained I just can’t run more than 4 miles on the treadmill and blah blah blah. She made the simplest, true, and most important statement: “You can do it!” I was so focused on the “can’t” that I never thought I “could.” I put a lot of effort into convincing myself that 7 miles is good enough. Does it take 139.6 miles to become an Ironman? Uhh NO! 140.6!

I hit the treadmill still convinced I was only going to run 7 and after that we will see how I feel. I ran on the treadmill in the apartment complex several times before. I usually pick the treadmill that faces a full length mirror. I am basically looking at myself the entire time I’m running. Facing myself if you will.

I brought a t-shirt with me with the intent of covering the display. At least I wouldn’t have to watch every second ticking away. I put the pace at an 11min mile and felt like I was walking. This is my normal half marathon/marathon pace (and I’m ok with being slow hehe). I turned it up to a 10min mile and felt solid. One thing I have noticed in this training is that I am absolutely feeling faster and stronger.

Any run over six miles I use Hammer Gels. This trains my body to look for this energy source during longer events. It also keeps me in the habit of gelling every 3 miles. I started running…then I hit three miles…time to gel! I immediately realized I couldn’t run 8 miles on the treadmill. However, I COULD run two 3 mile runs and a 2 mile run to finish consecutively. I had to break this run up in my head. It’s not a long run; rather three shorts runs put together. I ran the first three then kept going. I was alternating between water and Heed (learned not to use straight Heed on the last 8 mile run less ye get sick lol).

I was sweating quiet a bit and realized I should probably start replacing my electrolytes as well. I will certainly add SaltStick capsules to my training days! Occasionally, I would peak under the shirt to see how far I ran. It was one of those times you ask yourself, “Do you really wanna know?!” The first 5k is down. I just have to get through the next 5 k. then you can eat another gel. This was a great treat considering I have not had dinner and its 7pm. When I got through the second 5K it was exciting to think I only have 2 miles to go. I was feeling bold! I wanted to face this blasted treadmill head on. I took the shirt from the display and was screaming to myself, “Who’s your daddy?! Who’s the man?!”

After about thirty seconds of manning up, I immediately put the shirt over the display. Seeing the thirty seconds tick by was excruciating! It was undoubtedly the most agonizing thirty seconds of the run. This was followed by the treadmill shutting down at the one hour mark. I turned it back on and started again; two miles to go. Really, I only had one mile to go. Once I got to 7, getting to 8 wouldn’t be as difficult.

I did it! I jumped off the treadmill super excited! Not because of the run, but because of the mental toughness. I know now I can MAKE this body do what I want it to!

My swim Is ready! My bike Is ready! My mind Is ready! IronMan New Orleans 70.3 or bust!


  1. I wanted to thank you for your wonderful comments on my blog and the amazing quote you left a few days ago. I have added you to my favorite blogs to read and wish you much success in your goal to become an Ironman. My trainer is running IM Cozumel and if all goes well, I will be down there cheering on our team from Central Florida. Perhaps I will see you and cheer you on there!!!

  2. I'm so glad you moved past your mental wall...and there you found that physically you can rise to any challenge! I knew you could always do....whatever it is that you set out to do.
    I'm glad I could encourage you...but mostly thankful that you are learning to really believe in your abilities. You will do the half Ironman with no problem!
    Okay...LOL...just a side misspelled my name! No "e" on the end! :)