This past weekend I conquered two really great runs.
I ran 13 and 18 miles and felt relatively great.
While I was running my 18 miler I realized that with age I have gained quite a bit of mental toughness.
Back in my late 20′s I remember running 18 miles in preparation for a marathon and it was awful. I had mentally psyched myself up to not being able to do it and my body obliged. In fact, I am pretty sure I walked the second part of the out and back course and by the time I had gotten back home I had talked myself and my body out of the marathon and never did it.
Things are different now.
I feel TOUGH! Yes I am older but I feel like I have gained some mental toughness to go with it. We all know running is physical but I have realized it is so much more mental actually. Sometimes I can think about running 3 miles and feel like it is so far but if I turn it around and think about how short it really is-it truly becomes easier. Same with tackling those longer runs. It is all how you think about what is going to happen to you and how you are going to feel about it. And of course once you start challenging yourself you feel more brave to take on even more challenges.
I have also realized that when I am running longer distances I should save my music for about the half way part. That is what I did with my 18 miler. I did not turn on my music until mile 9 and it was the extra push I needed to feel good for the second half.
And I also realize that once aches and pains kick in, it is smart to refocus your brain to something else. Look at the scenery. Think about work. Get into your music. It helps you not to fixate on those small aches and almost makes them non existent-WIN!
What about you? Do you find that your mental toughness has gotten better with age? Can you do more when you focus your self and think positive about it?