“Master the mental game, and you will master running.”
Strong Mental Powers
January and February are no doubt the two most difficult months of the year in a marathon training cycle. If you are running a Spring or early Summer marathon, you know that this is the period where your long runs are getting much longer, and it feels like you are never fully recovered before your next trek onto the pavement. If you do not have strong mental powers, and a killer sense of denial about how crappy it really is, you are surly to quit at this juncture.
This is also the time of feeling the depth of “funk”. If dealing with your physical demons was not enough, you will also find during this phase of training, that most others around you are also in a funk. Call it the winter blues, call it a collective sense of failure for not sticking to New Years resolutions, call it what you like. It’s simply a darkness that consumes. If you are someone like me who thrives off the energy of others, this is the most dangerous time. When I am not “feeling it”, I often look for the enthusiasm of others to kick me in the ass. So what is the problem with that? January and February is void of enthusiasm every where you go.
Know Your Reasons
Upon reflection, what I have been forced to do, is to truly question the “why” and “what for” of my marathon goal. Why am I putting myself through this challenge, and what do I get out of it? I believe this is what is meant by “digging deep.” Not only do you have to push on through the physical challenge of training, impose an insane form of denial about muscle aches, bad weather, and fatigue, you also have to rely on your own internal message for motivation.
I am learning to visualize the negative energy around me personified as a tall dark figure standing right in front of me. I imagine getting close, very close, almost nose to nose. I then imagine punching the fucker right in the face and watching him fall.
Punch negativity in the face…and walk away with pride in what you have done and are about to do.