This has particularly struck a chord with me recently as while out running I have been happy to ease off the gas when previously I would have pushed through. I thought this was partly down to recovering from previous hard races, and events such as my 12 hour treadmill session. But having been reminded of the mantra I have realised that I have been behaving the same way across all areas of my life, and this is something I need to change – fortunately this is quite easy – just decide to change and do it!! This is why I have dropped off on the frequency of my postings in the last couple of months, and my energy has instead been expended on excuses!
Always worth the effortSo on my latest run, when half way up and I was about to walk, I rewound mentally about 4 months to a time when I was easily running all the way to the top. I dug in, and made it to the next tree, then the false horizon, then the big rock, and before you know it I’m at the top enjoying the cooling breeze and a snack.
Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t easy, but then it’s not supposed to be. After all I’m training to get stronger with better endurance, and that won’t happen if I stay in my comfort zone. My main focus this year is my 1400km run in August, and you can guarantee I will be spending a great deal of time outside my comfort zone so I may as well get used to it!
I said making this change in attitude and performance is quite easy, but it does take a lot of mental toughness and discipline. It’s setting the early morning alarm and not hitting snooze, it’s going for that night run when your favourite TV show is on, and having a piece of fruit instead of a bar of chocolate.
Camera doesn't do justice to this view unfotunatelyThere is a great parallel in ultramarathon running. It’s easy to talk it up big when you enter a race, but you need to be disciplined in training, which takes mental strength and commitment – the same strength and commitment you will need to get to the finish line and reap the reward, whatever it may be for you.
When you really get to grips with the concept of “How you do one thing is how you do everything” and relate it to yourself, you can then either adapt your training to suit how you do things, or change the way you do things to meet you goals.
For me sharing this with you guys is a declaraton of a commitment to get myself back on track focusing on what I can do, not on excuses of why I can’t. And of course realising that you can do far more than you think you can!
“What counts in battle is what you do when the pain sets in” – John Shortwww.ultrarunning.com.au