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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Mental Block

It seems as though I might be suffering from a bad case of mental block with a dose of the training blahs mixed in. I can't really explain it, but I have just felt "off" over the last few weeks. I can't remember the last time I walked away from a workout feeling accomplished or satisfied with the end result. I have been trying to figure out the reason why my training and my attitude have not been up to par lately, and sadly, perhaps, the answer is as simple as I haven't been trying hard enough. For some reason, I just can't seem to find my mojo, my motivation, my drive to run faster, to be faster.
I can't attribute my lack of luster to "burnout" because I haven't trained for a marathon in almost 3 years.
3 years, is that it? I was 3 years younger then. At what point, do you have to factor age into the equation? Was I in my prime 3 years ago (35), and now sadly, I need to accept that maybe these legs can't run as fast as they use to?
And yet, as I write that last statement, I realize that perhaps,I am just suffering from a bad case of mental bashing.
Afterall, today I ran a 1/2 marathon, and was only off my PR from 3 years ago by 25 seconds, and yet, I am so disappointed in myself. Right now mentally I feel like crap. Today, during the 1/2, I physically felt like crap.
I was hoping for a PR this morning, secretly hoping for at least a 1:32. I am not even sure why I thought I could even do this time, I just assumed I should be able to do this time. Afterall, isn't that how it works? You train, You get faster, easy as that.
Yeah, no. I guess it doesn't work that way. I know 25 seconds doesn't seem like alot, but I was disappointed today for many different reasons:
1)Before starting this training cycle, in March, I did a 1/2 marathon, and was very happy and surprised to see I was able to do a 1:34:55.
2) This course was flat, the weather was perfect. The course in March was more difficult, my PR course was MUCH more difficult. (Today, i would have probably done a 1:36 on that course)
3) I felt like crap! Today, I was ready to walk by mile 9 and although I didn't, I definitely gave up. During Miles 9-11 I was running nearly 30 seconds slower then I had hoped, and I didn't care. I couldn't reach deep enough within myself and find the umph to pick it up, to even try to go faster. I didn't even try. I settled in on the pace and I didn't care. Infact, at that point, I thought to myself, "I am not enjoying any of this." I was remembering back to the days when I would look down at my watch and smile. When the mile markers would appear to be so close to one another. Today,I was waiting for each and every one of them to finally reveal themselves to me, cursing to myself.
Do I just not have it in me anymore? or did I just simply forget that racing is really not that much fun while actually doing it. My coach told me that i did not go into it mentally prepared. I did not prepare for the pain/uncomfortableness that comes with it. Perhaps 3 years has erased from my memory how painful/difficult this entire process can be. Maybe it is like giving birth. Women forget just how difficult pregnancy and painful labor can be, and there they are a few years later doing it all over again.
I realize everyone has a bad day. But I feel like it is more then that. I am just not up to par to where I wanted to be and I am disappointed in myself.
The worst part about it is that I was looking towards this race to build my confidence, to help me get mentally ready for marathon day. Instead, it has confirmed what I had feared, I really am just not where I wanted to be at this point. Sub 3:20 is looking more and more difficult, and I know if I keep feeling this way mentally, it will be impossible to do.
Only 2 weeks of real training left, will that do anything for me at this point?
Ok, enough, with this depressing post. Tonight I pout, tomorrow I push forward!!

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