Mind over Matter (or something like that)

Training has been progressing well. I saw a countdown yesterday that said 40 days till Marine Corps Marathon and I didn’t totally panic. At this point in training I have successfully completed 16 miles. Which is the longest I have run since I ran my last marathon 2 years ago. This weekend will be 18 miles. (eek) I am doing the Air Force Navy Half Marathon on Sunday so I plan on parking further away running to the start and running/walking back to the car.

On a few of my most recent long runs, I noticed something strange. I felt stronger, but my mind was telling me to slow down. This is relatively new for me. It was almost like I was psyching myself out in my head. This caused a down the rabbit hole effect which had me doubting myself pretty hard.


I know the saying goes, “Mind over Matter” but what about “Matter over Mind.” This could be where the phrase trust your training comes into play. While my lungs and legs feel amazing, my brain is telling me to go take a nap or find a mimosa. It’s like The Blerch has come out to play.


source: The Oatmeal

On my last long run, I tried a few coping techniques. Some worked better than others.

  1. Runner’s Math: Want to distract yourself? Do runner’s math! When running a 16 miler it’s really only 2 10Ks and a 5 miler or 2 5 milers and 2 5Ks (roughly). If I continue to run at my current pace then I will finish in 2 hr and 45 minutes which would put me well within the time cut off. However if I slow down each mile by 15 secs that would put me…. you get the idea. This also works when trying to map out more mileage. I have run 5 miles thus far, if I take a loop around the White House that’s another 1.5 miles but if I go around the Capitol, I could get another 4… screw it, I’ll just do them both.
  2. Music: Gives me life. This was very successful. If I update my playlist regularly, I can make sure that I fill up spotify with songs that are energetic and help me power through. This has been very helpful in keeping me focused on finishing strong.
  3. People Watch: I love to people watch. Not only do I love people watching, I love to create an entire life story for those that I see around me. This is quite fun. While running in DC there’s no shortage of people to watch. In case you were curious that stories are usually fanciful and fantastic. 🙂
  4. AudioBooks: This was horrible and did NOT work for me. At all. (Also could be because I was listening to Jane Austen.)
  5. Explore: I like to park at Gravelly Point Park when doing my long runs. But it also helps keep things fresh if I don’t run the same exact path every time. So I have been exploring different paths to run in DC.

Any tips on how to beat the negative talk? Has this ever happened during your training? 

4 Comments on “Mind over Matter (or something like that)

  1. Check out the Runner’s Connect podcast with Tina Muir. I listened to it on my 8 miler this morning and it was a great way to pass the time! Mostly though, I’m a music gal when I do my training runs.

    • Music is the best. I’ll have to try out that podcast, I have heard good things about podcasts! I just haven’t gotten into them yet. (maybe this will help)

  2. Every time! That’s why training for a full is not for the weak of mind. You’re correct, the mind quits before the body, stay strong. If it should occur again and all things are good, then run off your pace and fight through it. Tell yourself repeatedly you don’t want to suck on race day. You’ll hate the fact that you could of done more. Those are some of my issues..which are many.

    • Is it weird that makes me feel better to know I’m not alone?!? You are correct it is not for the weak of mind at all. (I do not want to suck… so I’ll give that a shot) Thanks!

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