Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mental Road Blocks and the fat man mentality

Today I learned something, that after two years and 175 pounds lost that somewhere deep down buried and burrowed in deep there is still that fat man mentality that I have not completely eradicated yet. When I run I sprinkle in walks, I average about a ten minute mile with about 9 minutes of it running and 1 minute walking. And I felt I needed these walk breaks as I wasn't physically able to run non stop for any great distance or time. So despite being able to run a 28:59 5k I still walk about .20 of the 3.1 miles.

But lately I have been visiting the forums on runners world and most of the veteran runners have told me to turn down my speed and just try and maintain that speed for an hour non stop no walk breaks just running. The fat man cried in my no I can run that far or that long without walking. But I was listening and willing to experiment, so I turned the treadmill down to a 5.5 or a 10:54 mile and was like lets do this.

Mentally that first mile was just overcoming how slow it felt, I didn't break a sweat at all the first mile it was just more mental agony as I forced myself to go slower. By mile 2 I was like ok I am ready for a walk break even though physically I didn't need one my mind kept telling me you need a walk break you need a walk break. So I was like ok we will just run a 3.1 then you can have a walk break that is a nice 34 minutes without walking (which would be a personal record for me without taking a walk break). And I got to the 3.1 and I was like no no no lets do something a little further lets say 40 minutes maybe a 3.5 miles that would be a great place to stop and take a walk break. I hit the 40 minutes and was like you know what I am only 4 minutes out of doing a full 4 miles running lets just go there. At mile 4 I broke through something I realized I didn't need that walk break, I still felt great physically and I was only another 11 minutes out from finishing a full 5 mile run no walks, no stops (I sipped water but never allowed myself to turn the treadmill down as I kept it at the 5.5 the entire time) so I just kept going.

I ran non stop for 5 miles in 54:33 (I'd have run further and finished out the hour but I needed to get home and cook dinner and I left for the gym a little late) and realized something valuable. Something somewhere my mind is still telling me I need to walk when I don't, I am fine physically to keep going but there is this major mental roadblock that I hadn't even began to scale until today. I am physically able to do those runs, I dare say I could run a full hour non stop at a 10 minute mile pace, I had just not overcome that fatman's mentality that I needed to walk and without turning down the speed I might never have discovered that.

People probably thought I was crazy, I was so pumped between mile 4 and 5 that I became kinda animated, there is that Miley Cyrus song Party in the USA that is a great fast tempo running song I like and everytime the put your hands in the air part came on I actually put my hands in the air haha the song really gave me a lift and was just so much fun that last mile that I listened to it twice.

So today I found lurking in my deep dark corners of my subconscious that fat man and I took the first steps to beating the crap out of him and kicking him out of my head forever and it felt so great.

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