Yesterday I had a 12 mile run. It did not end well. I finished 12 miles, but it wasn’t pretty. I fell apart around mile 9.5 and the remaining 2.5 miles sucked. While there was a physical component to it (I ended up with severe foot and calf cramps afterwards, so I’m guessing I had some sort of electrolyte imbalance going on), the biggest piece was mental.
I went into the run convinced it was going to be hard. I *knew* it was going to suck. And it did from the start. Let’s just call that a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I’m not sure what’s going on with me, but I used to not psyche myself out until the runs got longer than 15 miles. Lately, if I’m going out for more than four I don’t know how I’m going to finish. I don’t want to do it and I dread starting. Sometimes my body surprises me and the run goes really well, but just as often, my negative nelly is right and the run sucks.
Somehow, what confidence I did have, has disappeared since the injury. (And apparently took with it what little speed I did have.) I don’t trust my body to carry me as far as I used to. I find my “easy pace” not so easy. My long runs that I always used to run too fast are now a challenge at my long run pace. Was going from 0 miles a week to 30 miles a week over 12 weeks too fast? Or is it all in my head and my body could do more if my head wasn’t holding me back?
So, is my problem all mental or (12 weeks out from my achilles injury) am I trying to do too much, too soon?
13 thoughts on “Mental Sabotage”
Perhaps it's not one or the other, but a little bit of both. A tad slower on the progression to 30 miles and put a gag on Negative Nellie…and you're on your way! 🙂 You can do this!
I gotta think there is a huge mental piece to it. You'll get it back! 12 miles is huge, and i'm so sorry it didn't feel huge. I killed myself on my run last weekend. Started just like you "this IS going to suck". What we do for the run 🙂
not sure but i never realized how much is mental. we not only train our bodies but we need to train our minds and that is much harder. maybe give yourself a day of rest and maybe right down some reasonable training goals ? sometimes just writing things down helps.
i'm guessing too much too soon. anytime i start with doubts, it never ends well. a slower ramp up will probably improve your confidence, and things will go much better for you.
it sounds like a lot of people have had a really tough mental week. i'm not sure if it was too much too soon or just too tough for your brain to handle. but turn it around in your head first! you'll get it back.
Sorry about the tough run. I think you have built back up safely and slowly, but maybe it is just taking a bit longer to get your mental game back.
I don't think it sounds like you are doing too much but you are killing yourself mentally. You can do it. Let go worrying about the speed. Just do the miles.
you know this is so strange, i went through this like a month or two ago and then suddenly I decided that I wasn't worried about any race and BAM i was running 7 miles daily with no issue and hitting my weekend runs totally fine.so maybe the stress is because of other things going on
Thats tough, maybe take some time and do only fun runs without an agenda until you feel better about your running?
I've been having trouble with my runs the past few weeks and I realize it's because other parts of my life are tiring me out. Sometimes it's okay to just ride it out and wait for the speed or at least the flow to find it's way back to you.
Gosh I could have written that post – I hear you! Long story, so I won't go into it (I should update my blog), but I've been continuously injured the last couple of months, and also training for London (in 7 weeks) and the thing I hate is – no strength, no speed, I'm scared everytime I run about what is going to hurt, and I hate that the pleasure seems to have gone. I ran 16 miles yesterday, slower than I've run in a long long time, and the biggest fear is that I don't think I could have gone faster even if I'd wanted to. Anyway, just wanted you to know that you're definitely not alone, and it sucks! ((hug)) On a useful note, I think it will be a time thing – just keep plodding, and the fear will go and the good feelings will come back 🙂
oh no! take it easy on yourself. you'll get back there…. easy does it.
I'm sorry about the tough run. I went through that a few years ago, I started listening to music again to try to keep my mind off the run. That seemed to help, but I don't overly like listening to music. Hopefully, you find a way to break out of it! Especially with MCM coming up!