✓ 5th marathon in the books!
This one was a little different– it was my first trail marathon and there wasn’t any of the pressure, anxiety, and sickness that plagued me during training for the previous four.
But, I guess that’s what happens when you decide Wednesday to run a race on Saturday. There’s no time to frett!
I spent quite a bit of time pondering the idea of mental toughness and disassociating your mind from the physical sensations your body is experiencing.
I find that, when it comes to endurance sports, my mind is by-far my biggest limiting factor.
My mind typically senses discomfort or pain, and says “This doesn’t feel good. This is hard. We still have how many miles to go?” and before long it’s easy for doubt to creep in.
Our minds want safety, security, the known.
We sense fear, caused by doubt, and we’re searching for the quickest escape route.
Fight or flight kicks in– and me, I’m often primed for flight.
What’s ironic about it though, when I tap into the “fight” instinct instead, I’m ready to show that trail who’s boss.
The human body is incredible. If you stop for a moment and truly consider what it’s able to do, it’s pretty mind blowing.
For a lot of people, their minds are ready to give up before their body physically cannot go anymore. But there are also people– elite athletes, military, people in no kidding life or death situations– who move past the mental barrier and do what needs done.
Sure, any one of us can experience glimpses of that. But how do you tap into it on demand?
How does your average person build the mental toughness to push past discomfort, recognize and acknowledge the emotions their mind is associating with a physical sensation, and let it pass?
I imagine part of it comes from a meditation practice, but I’m sure there’s more to it.
There’s your deep thought for the day. Curious what you think if you’re willing to share.
🤍 amanda maureen