I jog/walked 22 miles today and I spent 5 hours doing it. It takes about 4 to 4.5 hours to get into sore feet territory, but it only takes about 15 miles to get into mental training territory. My brain likes to stop running around 15 miles. It is very easy to run 15 miles and doesn’t take that long. But going longer means my brain starts to come up with excuses for why I should stop running. Ignoring the excuses and continuing to log miles is my mental training. Today, when my brain wanted to quit, I asked it, “If not today, when?”
Sure there is an amazing westerly gale blowing. And yes, I didn’t like the wind in my ears so I kept my cap on. It was very warm but still not that warm so long sleeves stayed on. My knees were very happy and pain free. No blisters. There was nothing wrong with me. So I ask my brain, if not now, when else would we get a 22 miles training run in? Why not now?
In a month, 4 weeks, I’m going in a 24-hour race. I hope to complete 50 miles within the 24 hour period. I need to do some long miles and mental training to be successful. My brain needs to remember that I don’t hurt that bad. Keep going because nothing is broken, just sore. This is what 22 miles feels like. No need to panic.
Running ultra-marathons is difficult for me mostly because of my brain. At some point, I usually do start to believe it and quit. My brain has told me an incredible number of lies in my lifetime. In fact, my brain is usually lying by telling me what I can’t do, for various false reasons. It is a wonder that I am as successful as I am. I guess I persevere and endure just enough to accomplish a few things.