Mental Toughness

When Emily and I were in high school, we pretended we were runners and joined the cross country team.  Since we both sucked at running, we saw it more as a social hour then as an opportunity to get better.  But, we stuck to it and actually lasted the whole season, go us!


Story of our lives


Since then, I had a couple of brief stints with running.  When I joined the Rugby team my freshman year, we ran a lot.  Whenever my roommates would piss me off in college, I would go for a run.  Then, my senior year, my friend guilt tripped me into signing up for a half marathon.  If you ask me, 13.1 miles is an obscene distance to run. I kinda enjoyed the training, but my body always seemed to suffer from it.  My knees would hurt, my feet would ache and my ears would burn from the cold.  So, after the half marathon, I decided I would more or less retire from running (if retiring from something you never had a career in is even possible).

Since starting CrossFit about a year and a half ago, my longest run was a mile tops.  Besides that, it was a couple 400s or 800s in a WOD.  That’s it.  So, when my friend from the gym asked me to run a 10K with her two weeks ago, I slightly panicked.  How can I go from struggling through a 400 meter run to running 6 miles (24 400s if I did the math correctly) all at once?  But, my friend felt pretty confident so I figured I should follow suit and give it a try.

The first couple of miles were easy peasy.  Things didn’t start to get tough until mile 4 or so.  That’s when I started to think about how our trainer had said “you girls can do it.  It’s all mental” right before we left.  As I continued to run (there was no way Stacey was going to slow down and walk) I started to think about how your mentality plays such an important role in your performance.  If you don’t think you can do something, you won’t.  Its easy as that. If I started to think I wasn’t going to make it, I wouldn’t.  If I channeled all my energy into believe I could finish the race, I knew I had a chance.  Even though I hadn’t run more than a mile in years, I felt strangely prepared.   I felt strong and confident running for the first time in my life.   I knew that I would finish the race even if it took every ounce of energy in me.  As the finish line came closer and closer, Stacey and I kicked it into high gear (ok, maybe not really, but it sure felt like it).  We literally gave it all we had and I could not have been more proud of us.


CrossFit Florian representing! Woot Woot!

After the race, we treated ourselves to a non paleo cliff bar and UFO beer.  Literally the best things I’ve tasted in weeks.  Then, I went home, laid on the couch, and didn’t move for hours.  Whatever, I just ran a 10k, bitch.

Has mental toughness played a role in your training?  What do you do to train your mind?  We wanna hear it!



One thought on “Mental Toughness

  1. I had this mental hurdle, concerning lifting more weight than I weighed, specifically with bench press or dead lift. Similar to a phobia, in that it is irrational to think that the weight of a network of muscles is some indication of how much strength they can exert. I do pullups, dips…whats the difference? Well, there is a difference in a failed pullup or dip, in which I land on my feet, and that whole, “hmm…my arms and chest are holding 185 lbs over my neck right now…could be a problem if I drop it.” Needless to say, I put on “Zero” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs, turned it up nice and loud, and the concept I once prescribed to seems silly now.

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