Posted by: Ingrid | December 6, 2010

Mental fortitude

Last week, in honor of my birthday, I ran 6 days out of 7 in order to get in 41 miles.  I finished the last 4 yesterday as large snowflakes began to fall.  It was lovely.

The problem with starting my second winter here is that I am anticipating the grey days and biting wind and times when I wake up and wonder if it’s too icy to run and if maybe, just maybe, I should just go back to bed.  Perhaps until April.  I know the excitement of winter and snow lasted at least through mid-January last year.  This year it has felt like winter for precisely a week and I am so over it.  Time to fast-forward to spring!

Right now I am wrestling with commitment issues.  If I decide to commit to training for an April 30th marathon that means beginning my training in mid-January.  We all know that the best thing to do in mid-January is to wear 6 layers of clothing and drink your body weight in hot chocolate, so I feel a little nuts even trying to wrap my mind around the thought of 20 mile runs.  I am trying to figure out how to get past the mental barrier of knowing how frustrating and temperamental the weather can be at that time so that I can plan and get behind sixteen weeks of training.  It scares me a little because the commitment feels so large and winter running still feels so unpredictable.  This year I know my options though, in terms of getting in tempo, speedwork, and long runs.  Not only do I have the snow covered roads and my yaktraks but I also have a treadmill, access to even nicer treadmills at the university gym, the outdoor track, an indoor track I have never used, and a woman willing to do long runs on the nearby trail.  I feel like I have a variety of training possibilities depending on what the weather throws my way, but I’m still having trouble with the mental game.

Deep down I think I’m mostly afraid to put in the time and effort and not get the results I want.  But it’s been five years since my first and only marathon… surely it’s time to tackle another one, right?  I guess I have about six weeks to develop my mental fortitude and a training plan.  That or win a four month vacation to someplace warm, flat, and mostly dry. 🙂

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