90% Mental


Saturday - Long trail run

18.1 miles @ 13:10 pace

3:58:03,  2352' total elevation gain

It's commonly stated that running is "90% mental and 10% physical". This definitely proved true during Saturday's run. It was both amazing and excruciating simultaneously, as many long runs can be. I managed to squeak in 18.1 miles in under 4 hours, which sounds absurd compared to my best marathon time of 4:09. I found myself hiking or walking many of the uphill climbs that I can normally run. My nagging piriformis ached almost the entirety of the last 9 miles. I seriously considered calling it quits when I made it back to my car at mile 16.5, but forced myself to go the extra mile (and a half) to finish. 
My favorite section of the run

Run Report Card

  • Fueling: A-
    • I managed to eat a banana and about 2/3 of the Honey Stingers and raisins I brought, which is much better than my last long run. There is still room to improve here.
  • Mental endurance: A+
    • Where I lacked physically, I more than made up for mentally during this run. If I had lacked the mental stamina to keep going on Saturday, I would probably have quit halfway through when my legs started giving up. Mentally, I felt like I could keep going even farther than 18 miles.
  • Weather: B- 
    • Always a factor during every run, but the chilly temps hovered around 30 degrees and made me want to keep going, even if just to stay warm. My muscles had a hard time staying loose due to the cold. The trail was also a bit icy in some spots:
  • Physical endurance: C
    •  I knew about 3 miles in that my legs were going to hurt for most of this run. It's become fairly intuitive to anticipate the pain, but I now have the mental awareness to stay positive and push through. I'm attributing this to poor recovery after snowboarding for 2 days and then a tough hill workout the very next day. Naturally, I did not stretch after any of these activities...
  • Sleep: D
    •  All week long (and even all month long) I've been regularly getting about 6 hours of sleep a night. This is not enough to perform at my best, both mentally and physically. 
  • Hydration: B- 
    • Improper hydration can lead to muscle pain, as well as decreased performance. I went out to my friend's concert on Friday night, had about 3 beers, and stayed out late. While I drank a ton of water Friday night and Saturday morning, I still found myself sipping from my hydration pack more often than usual. 
Overall, I'm glad I toughed it out all the way through the 18 miles. There are many times I could have given up and shortened the run, but I knew I would have been disappointed in myself. Plus, I still had fun exploring a few new trails in the Wissahickon park even though I was in some pain. 

Pinecone scattered trail

A clearing in the woods

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