February Training Reflections Part 2
I woke up this morning with yesterday’s blog post still on my mind. I tried my hardest to find the positive in last month’s running, but I just couldn’t. Even this morning it bothered me that I had such a negative outlook after a short derailment in training. I’ve read so much about ultrarunning and how much of a mental challenge it is. There will almost always be low points a runner has to battle through during long training runs and races. During those lows the runner has to fight through and convince him or herself to keep going, to put one foot in front of the other. It’s easy to just give up and say today isn’t my day. Sometimes you may question why you even pursue these endurance challenges at all.
Apparently training has its low points too, and that’s where my head began to go. When you are supposed to be consistently in the 40s and 50s for your weekly mileage, and you’re logging weeks in the 20s, and one week in the teens, your motivation can really take a hit. You start to wade through the darker places. How am I ever going to achieve this goal of these obstacles keep getting in the way? Some of them may be within your control, some of them not. It’s all too easy to become frustrated and let the missed runs you couldn’t control carry over into the runs you should have crawled out of bed to tackle. You start to question the time commitment it requires to train for distances of 50 miles and greater. You start to think its not worth it and it would just be easier to maintain a level of fitness that just allows you to tackle marathons and 50ks, or that maybe you should push the longer distances off a year or too while you build confidence. It’s not a fun place to be, but I’ve got to learn to drag myself out of the training lows so I know I can do the same on race day. Roll with the punches. Troubleshoot on the fly. In the end I’ll come through with even more resolve. So instead of always trying to be positive maybe I should approach it like a race. There will be lows. Period. Just know they’re coming and prepare and learn how to get through them. In the end I’ll be stronger for it.
What kind of mental struggles have you experienced in training or during a race, and how did you get through them?