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On my way home from work yesterday I called a friend to express my frustration about my own mental state (I’m an extravert, so processing out loud is my preferred processing style). I told him that almost every day of my last two half marathon training cycles I was excited and thinking about the race. This time, however, is different. The excitement isn’t there quite as much. In place of excitement is fear and frustration. This nasty IT band thing that started back in September is still clinging on, although I have been really dedicated about not pushing myself and foam rolling and doing strengthening exercises, and I hope things are improving. Anyways, like I said, I’m just not as excited. Maybe the newness has worn off? I think that last weekend’s 5k run didn’t help so much. While I knew that conditions were tough, I haven’t had a great run since the Thanksgiving Day Gobble Wobble, and my frustration was starting to really get to me.

I headed out today for a 3.5 mile run, and for the first mile and a half my heart just wasn’t in it. I was physically running but my mind was checked out, full of doubt and frustration. I finally kicked myself into gear, stopped throwing a pity party, and ran. While I had a few slight twinges of pain in my right knee, this run felt pretty great (I stretched out my legs for almost 30 minutes last night which I think really helped).

Overall I felt pretty great about my run. Here’s what it looked like:

Picture 30

At the start of my last half marathon training cycle, I had just come off training for a triathlon, so I was in great shape (unlike this time where I’m in good shape, but my last race in November). Here’s what my 3.5 mile run looked like then:

Picture 32

Today’s run (the above numbers) wasn’t actually that much worse than the run at the beginning of September- not even a minute different! While I’m frustrated that I haven’t improved, I know that I can’t expect that out of my body. And so, this run was all about the mental fight; to keep my head in the game and shut down the negative thoughts. It’s time to once again remind myself that with having POTS, I should be grateful that I can even run and race.

And I keep going back to the quote behind this post that I wrote right before my first half marathon.

Now it’s your turn to share! How do you fight the mental battle when you’re out on a run? 

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