Jedi Mind tricks

Do any of you ever read an old blog post and think “just who does that self-centered a-hole think they are?”  and then realize that the self-centered a-hole is you?  That’s how I feel about yesterday’s post.

Moving right along…

In that post, I mentioned that my ‘usual’ running tricks haven’t been working.    Over the course of a typical run, here’s what I tell myself:

  • Only  x more miles.
  • I’ve run 8 miles before [3, 5, 6] is nothing
  • I feel fine.  I’m not tired, my breathing isn’t labored, I got this
  • I can go on like this forever.  This is going to be a great run
  • Make it through this song and it will  be fine
  • Make it to the end of this street and it will be fine
  • [check watch]  It’s been x minutes.  Only x more.
  • Slow down
  • Try not to think about running.   Think of something else.
  • [check watch]  Damn.  Only 5 mins after last time I checked.
  • [see other runner]  Don’t have to go fast.  Just don’t let him/her know you’re struggling.  Try to smile.
  • [on busy road]  Walkers don’t walk here.  This is for runners only.  Don’t let those cars see you walk.
  • [getting tired]  Wow.  This [3, 5, 6] mile run is hard…. how on earth am I going to make it 13?
  • Imagine the finish line.
  • Imagine running by people you know on the course.
  • Repeat half-marathon slogan
  • Mentally write the half-marathon race report
  • Remind myself that it’s all mental.
  • Do a physical check– legs: good,  breathing: good, no reason you can’t go on
  • Bargain with myself that I can do *just* one more mile/10 more mins/to the end of the street
  • Secretly hope to go further

Most of these things work… or at least work in conjunction with one another.  Sometimes I’ll tell myself I just have to make it through a song.  And when I get to the end of the song, I’m halfway to the end of the street… so I’ll get to the end of the street.  And then it’s just another mile.  So I’ll continue on.

But sometimes lately, I’ve been KEEPING the bargains with myself.  When I say I’ll run to the end of the road/song/whatever, I do just that.  And then stop.  This is getting me into all kinds of trouble, because once I stop, I’m done.  I’m not good at the run-walk-run routine.    I  know that it’s almost all mental, but I’ve been having a hard time getting over the mental hurdle.

Any ideas?  Any tricks that work for you??


4 responses to “Jedi Mind tricks

  1. Not sure what to tell you other then it will get easier! Keep running – keep forcing yourself out there, eventually one will just click!!

  2. do you have any podcasts that you like to listen to? i did that the last time i ran and the run went pretty fast.
    i’ve NEVER run 8 miles at once so that’s pretty amazing.

  3. First of all, thanks for de-lurking on my blog! I miss C-U a lot some days and I love being able to go back to visit.

    In terms of running tricks, I like to break my long runs up into other race distances. For example, on the 10 miler I did last weekend in Urbana once I got to 4 miles I knew I only had a 10K left. I’ve run lots of 10Ks so I knew I could do that again. Once I got to 7 miles I knew all I had was a 5K left and that a 5K takes me about 30 minutes. 30 minutes is nothing, I tell myself. I can keep moving for another 30 minutes.

    Also, when I really hit a wall, I just slow wayyyy down. I stop looking at my watch and just run (or shuffle). I try not to walk because starting back up is so hard.

    I understand the frustration, though. The mind tricks don’t always work when you haven’t had a good run in awhile.

    Best of luck on your 9 miler this weekend! You can do it! You may be scared now, but think how hardcore you’ll feel after you get it done.

  4. Wille Humper

    I am astonished by the past tense use of the word “run.”

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