Prepping for the Couer d’Alene Marathon: Playing a Mental Game

The Coeur d’Alene Marathon is as of today, 19 May 2015, five days away.  The past month of prep has been widely different than planned, due to serious irritation and inflammation in my left adductor tendon that left me feeling as if a screw driver was slowly  being driven into my pelvis.

cda marathon countdown

The result of this discomfort has not only led to me not running much the last four weeks, and zero running for the last two.  So truth be told I feel like I have been going a little crazy; feeling under trained, under prepared, and very very nervous.  Everyone keeps telling me that I will be fine as I have months and months of prep in the bank however as someone who is very Type A and likes to maintain a solid training schedule the idea of not having put the miles in that were planned for the month of May has been hard.  On top of that not running has always been struggle for me because it is one of my favorite activities to do, it is my release and my feel good time, not having that has been rough.

So what has this prep month looked like:

Morning workouts have been pretty much non-existent
Increased time on the bike
Increased swimming time
Maintained lifting time
A LOT of mental training (negative thought push downs)

swimming

When I go through periods like this where I am stopped from doing something, not because I choose to, but because I am forced to that is when the negative thoughts start to invade my mind.  Over the years I have learned to live life in the positive as I found my stress decreased and as it should I became an all around more confident person by living this way.  However, whenever things occur that are out of my control and put a damper on my goals I have a harder time keeping myself in the positive.

bikinig

I start to doubt myself, wonder why I am doing what I do, wonder if I can even accomplish it, and the nerves increase.  **Lightbulb!! This could explain why I have been having stomach issues for the past month!!** Most of the time I don’t even realize I am acting this way and it wasn’t until I was running (got to start running again this week, just in time haha) yesterday that I realized how negative my thoughts had been.

“You are going to be so slow Kayla”
“No way you will be able to complete that marathon”
“The people that said your body couldn’t hold up for something like this were right, how you going to complete it?”

Having thoughts like that were getting me no where, in fact they were just making it worse.  So the past couple days I have really been trying to focus on knowing that the training is there, that all the work I put in in preparation for the Bend Marathon a month ago hasn’t been lost and that no matter what I am tough enough to push through anything.  My training has since then changed directions, gone from being stressed and bummed about not being able to run (well lets face it still makes me a little bit nervous) towards focusing on keeping my faith and belief strong.

first run

Marathon training, or any training for that matter, takes more than just physical strength you also have to train yourself to be emotionally, spiritually, and mentally tough.  Your body can put up with a lot if you are willing to be strong enough to let it.  I have proven in the past that my skin is tough so this weekend is going to be a time to show that again.

This morning when I woke up feeling a bit beaten up and sore from running, a distance that even two weeks ago would have been an every day occurrence, I reminded myself that a sore body today means a stronger body tomorrow!

I am prepared for the fact that this may not be my fastest time ever, however, I am not going to stop that from pushing myself past any limits I can; but just because it may not be my fastest time does mean that it can’t be my strongest race to date. Yet no matter what I know that I will give my best effort and with the amazing support system that I have it will be the best race.  Strength and growth comes from a lot of different angles and it is part of the journey to grow in every way.  So while prep may have not gone the way that I had planned it is still reminding me about the importance of believing in myself, and having faith in the strength inside me so in that sense it has been a successful preparation.

strongWhat do you do to push away any negative thoughts? When you are feeling beaten down how do you rise above it?

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