The unpacking and settling in is continuing around here! I can’t wait to share all about the move, but for now we are busy going through box after box trying to make this a home! It’s been so nice having our first weekend here. I’ll be back later this evening with my weekly recap!
Today I’d like you to well Ange to the blog!
Hi everyone, I’m Ange (you can also call me Angela, but not Angie J) and I blog at Cowgirl Runs. I’m so excited to be guest posting for Sara today while she is moving.
Like Sara, I have a pipe dream of one day qualifying for Boston which would require me to knock nearly an hour off my full time of 4:25 – maybe we can qualify in the same year and have a meet up!!
As I write this, I’m just over a week away from running my first ultra-marathon (by the time this post goes live I will have finished and breathed a huge sigh of relief!).
I’d like to say my training has gone wonderfully, but in truth, the past month has been unbelievably hard. I took some time to reflect why training may not have gone perfectly for me on my blog, but today I wanted to talk a bit about the mental side of training.
When I selected my training program (Hanson Bro’s) I didn’t give any thought to the mental side of things. I looked at the 6-days a week running and high mileage and figured that would get me in great shape for the ultra. Physically – absolutely! Mentally – that’s a different story.
This is by far the longest and hardest race I’ve trained for – forget that it’s only (ha! “only”) 8km longer than a marathon, 50km is scary! I also neglected to give myself a break between training cycles before training for this. I did take some time off in December, but I was down and out with a sinus infection, which is not the same as downtime.
Here are my suggestions for staying mentally healthy while training:
1. Learn about your mental triggers
I’m an introvert, perfectionist and also suffer from anxiety (as I’m sure you can guess, I’m an absolute treat at parties!). When I have too much on my plate, things can go downhill really quickly for me.
For you maybe you need lots of sleep, or maybe you need to make sure your house is in order, or maybe you just need time to veg out in front of the TV in order to stay mentally healthy.
For me I need: alone time (like, lots of it!), lots of sleep (8 hours please), time to keep my house organized (messy kitchens stress me out), and one day of complete rest per week.
2. Don’t be afraid to go off plan
I’ve been so focused on keeping with the plan, if I missed a run I’d get stressed out. It came to the point where I was dreading posting yet another Weekly Plan post saying “I didn’t make my mileage again”. These past few weeks I’ve been doing a better job of listening to myself mentally. I signed up for a fun 10k race and have run without my splits or distance.
3. Talk it out
I’m so thankful to have a huge group of supporters in my friends and blends. I know I can ask for advice and receive support and rational (instead of my knee-jerk emotional) suggestions.
A lot of times all I need to say is, “I’m struggling” and I’ll be able to put together a plan on how to address it.
4. Don’t be afraid to lower your expectations
I know. This one is tough.
We all go into races with goals, whether we speak them or not.
Originally I was hoping to PR both my marathon (we receive an official marathon time during the race) and my auto 50k PR. I held on to that goal. Hard.
Since my training hasn’t entirely gone as planned [insert sad trombone noise here] I’ve needed to revise my goal to finish. I’d prefer to finish upright and not crawling, but I’ll take it however I can J
Don’t forget to check out my blog to see how I did!
Thanks so much to Sara for letting me take over her blog for the day!!
How do you stay mentally healthy?.