A lot can go wrong when you're running for three hours, but a lot can go right too. It's all a matter of perspective. I started my 20-miler yesterday with a couple of negatives: It was raining and I was afraid my shins were going to hurt. But I decided to roll with it, and make lemonade out any lemons that crossed my path.
I don't control the weather; there's no magic dial in my apartment that lets me turn a monsoon into a cloud-free, 50-degree day. So while I was running, I made a list of why being in the rain is great:1. There are fewer people out, which means you can get into the zone and not worry about (literally) running into to anyone. 2. Breathing near highways is easier, because a downpour knocks out car exhaust. 3. You don't have to worry about over-heating. 4. Puddle jumping becomes a fun little game. 5. Your friends will think you're hardcore. 6. Five reasons, aren't enough?
To ease my anxiety about the possible shin pain, I decided to really focus on my body. My arms tend to creep up when I run (I look like a chicken; it's quite funny), so my mantra became: Drop your arms, run easy. I reminded myself to loosen up, and I paid more attention to little aches and areas that felt tense. When my hip flexors felt tight, I changed up my stride, and when my quads got twinge-y, I picked up my heels (butt kicks anyone?). Luckily, my shins were fine for the entire session. (I wish I could say they didn't seize up on me when I stopped, but I can tell they're getting better.)
Yogi Berra once said, "Baseball is ninety percent mental, and the other half is physical." He could easily have been talking about running. Sometimes changing your mindset is the only way to get through a tough workout. That, and the thought of a nice, refreshing glass of lemonade at the finish, certainly helped me reach the 20-mile mark yesterday.
Has an attitude adjustment ever helped you during a workout?