Who knew that my half-marathon training would take my mentality to a whole new level and actually help me in other aspects of my life?
To become a stronger, more efficient runner, I realized that the only thing to do was to KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON! That means to keep running with purpose; put some muscle into my workouts and don't be a sissy; don't give up just because it's not easy; push past the points where you didn't know you could go; don't stop when you WANT to, only when you need to; and pretend to be stronger when you feel weak, it'll get you through better than pretending to be weak when you've got strength within.
So I've been talking myself through my workouts, especially when they get tough. If I have to start out slower to get more distance out of the workout, I do it. If I have to FORCE myself to pick my knees up when I'm going uphill, I do it. If I have repeat mantras in my head, I do it. If I have to look around and take in the scenary the way you do when you're too tired to drive, I do it. What does all of this mean? It means that a large amount of my physcial success has greatly depended on my mental strength. When my mind is in the game, my body can play and it can play well. I've learned that by pushing myself just a little, I receive gains from that. I can have strength, muscles popping out, more energy, better success the next time around, and so on.
Which leads me to the second thing I've learned...when you do something once. It can be difficult. When you do something a second time, you remember what went wrong and you can plan for it, making it easier. The more times you do something, the easier it becomes. Valuable info to remember--in running and in life.
Oh, I've also learned that I can actually run 7 miles. Which means I bet I can probably run 8 later, and maybe 9 or 10 later than that. Revelations for days, I tell ya...