Mind Over Matter

I went to bed looking forward to my workout this morning.  After a tough long run over the weekend I thought an intense spin session and weights would boost my confidence and help me start the week off right.  The nicerunning woman thing about Monday’s late morning spinning class is that I don’t have to wake up early and even if I do, I can hang around the house for a while working on chores or writing before the children wake.

The morning started just as it should have.  I woke up with no headache or other side effects from the dehydration I had suffered on my long run.  My legs felt good and I was in just the right frame of mind.  I did wake up early, which isn’t a surprise as it has become my routine to start these hot, summer days earlier. So, I took my time.  I cleaned the kitchen, wrote a little and even posted a special birthday post for a surprise running partner I met along the trails on Sunday.  All in all, it was a productive morning.

Finally I threw on my heart rate monitor, kissed the children goodbye and headed out the door.  And that is where my plans went awry.  Sometime on Sunday my husband or children had gone into my car in search of who knows what and had turned on all of the interior lights so of course, my battery was dead.

To paraphrase Yogi Berra, fitness is ninety percent mental, the other sixty percent is all physical.  A dead battery was all it took this morning.  It was as though someone had put a tack on the driver’s seat and popped my balloon.  I had to wait for AAA to come out and jump the car (actually in end I needed a whole new battery) but other than that I was free to ride my bike in the basement or run in the neighborhood.  I have Pilates and Yoga discs galore.  I could have jumped rope in the road in front of the house while waiting for the tow-truck driver.  I had choices but I couldn’t see them at the time.  At the time, my workout was ruined.

In my mind it was done.  I had had my moment to get going and missed the window.  There is an old saying about mind over matter and I believe it.  It doesn’t matter what the reality is, if we believe that something is so then it just is.  This has been on my mind a lot recently as I have had several workouts completely ruined by my mind.  The one that sticks out most clearly was almost a month ago now.  I was going out for an easy three hour run on an out and back course.  For an hour and forty five minutes I felt unstoppable.  My body was responding to the miles like a well oiled machine when suddenly I looked around and realized I had not been this far down this particular trail in almost a year.  This is when I realized I had run out fifteen minutes longer than I had meant to.  Meaning my total run would be three and a half hours instead of three.

From that moment my mind took over my run.  Instead of getting tired at two hours and forty five minutes, which would have been expected at this part of my training, I immediately felt fatigued, my legs began to hurt and I slowed down.  My run was in tatters and it was all mental.

Looking back, analyzing today as well as that ruined long run, it is easy to see the mistake.  It is easy to get angry with myself now and wonder why I let it happen.  But will it be so easy to correct next time?  Can I change the mind tricks once they start?  I have to believe I can.  I have to believe that knowing the problem is half the battle.  The next time this happens I will have a battle plan.  Because that is what it is – a battle of mind over matter.


1 Comment

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One response to “Mind Over Matter

  1. Gah! Our darn minds…I’ve struggled with the mental aspect a lot this year, and I’m not sure why.

    I love your determination to have a battle plan – you’re right, it truly is mind over matter. If we could just banish that “negative talk” we’d all be better off.

    Funny how obvious our negativity is when we are running…I wonder how much we do it in the rest of our lives too, without even realizing it…?

    Great post, lots of food for thought.

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