I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence, but it comes from within. It is there all the time.This is a good thought to think when you're working out.
– Anna Freud
No amount of reading – be it book or blog – or writing or thinking or talking makes your arms and legs and lungs move. You can visualize and fantasize and dream about your performance, but in the end you have to do something. Run, walk, lift, row, stretch, lunge, breathe, contort [that's for you Pilates fans!] – whatever your workout entails, the strength and confidence to complete it comes from no one but you.
PQ commented last week that when she runs outside she knows that halfway through the distance she's going to have to turn around and go back. There's no choice, and I feel the same way. It's another good reason to train outdoors.
[I suppose if you were training in a city, and had the forethought to tuck some cashmoneybucks in your pocket or your sock, you might be able to hail a cab. Having never in my life hailed a cab in a city, though, I don't know if this works or not.]
I have to trick myself to keep going on the treadmill. Yesterday was a three-mile 'easy' run. Three miles wasn't particularly easy the day after a speed drill. But I knew how many laps I needed to do and was determined to do the required amount at the suggested pace: 12 laps in 42 minutes and three seconds. I played around with the speed and finished three seconds over – 42:06 – and called it done.
In addition to adjusting the speed up and down to try to end up on an exact number, I count laps as a percentage of the total distance run. For a five-mile run, 5 laps is 25 percent … that kind of thing. It takes a little more brain power to calculate percentages on a seven-mile trip to nowhere, and that's a good thing when you know you're going to be going nowhere for almost two hours.
Once I hit the halfway mark, I start assessing how I'm breathing, whether anything hurts, how hot or cold I am – all to determine if I think I can finish. So far the second half of each run has been surprisingly easier than the first. Maybe not physically easier, because I'm tired, tired, tired, but mentally I've convinced myself that I can do it.
And I do.
Eighty-five days until race day.