This fit woman is experience pain. She has reached the much of her limits as a person. An interesting fact is that the pain did not just start right at the finish line, the pain most likely started miles prior as she pushed her goal pace and raced this marathon. You may think that elite or competitive runners don’t experience the pain because of their extremely high level of fitness but they do. The biggest difference is their mental toughness and knowledge that they can keep going regardless of the pain, fast breathing, burning, etc. Lots of people seem to have the mental toughness right from the get go but it is something that can be learned too.
How to you become more mentally tough? Well, you have to say YES. You have to say yes that one time when you want to say no more. You have to finish the last 100 yards when you feel like walking. Each time you say in your mind that you can keep going, you win the mental toughness battle and become that much stronger. You begin to realize more of your potential to be able to go through the pain, discomfort, and fatigue. Each time you do this, you inch closer to who you really are and what you really can do.
Yesterday was a mental toughness workout for me. From the first steps of my 6 mile goal pace run my legs were burning and sore. I felt stiff and robotic. My glutes, calves, and quads were all tight and on fire. This lasted for the entire run. My body and my mind wanted to stop. At the finish of my first three mile loop the temptation was strong to stop the workout. It hurt. It was uncomfortable. It wasn’t fun. I felt out of shape.
SO FREAKIN’ WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I kept at it. I kept at it. Until the last .01 of a mile I kept at it. When I could see the finish line at my truck and thought “oh good, now I can walk the last .25 miles”, I scoffed, then chuckled, then kept running. I had run 5.75 miles in discomfort and I tried to tell myself I couldn’t make it another .25 miles. I kept at it. I won the battle yesterday. Self realization kicked in and I became happy for what was accomplished. Some runs are so good that you feel great and others are so bad that you feel great (mentally).
I ran the 6 mile goal pace workout at a 7:38 pace in 90 degree heat with worn out shoes. The shoes may have been the cause of the soreness when I look back on it. I ordered some more and they will be coming soon.