Tomorrow is my first 18-miler, a long run on the Snoqualmie Valley Trail. Combined dirt and gravel it is relatively flat until it starts climbing up towards Rattlesnake Lake. I've run this trail quite a bit, the first time with De as she helped me train for my first Seattle Half way back when and generally as part of a distance training regimen. I've even raced on it, twice, is the Mt. Si Relay.
I don't mind saying that this run has me a bit nervous. The furthest I have gone so far is 15 or 16. This past Tuesday I ran a 7.65 mile trail run with 2.5 miles of all-out running and then a 13-odd mile hilly commute run from TLF to home. The first 8 miles or so went really quickly (mentally) but I ended the run wondering if I had another 13 in me. It turns out that I didn't.
I guess that it is THAT phase, as belovedrooster put it in an SMS, and I really need to ignore that voice behind the curtain. PuddleThumper also suggested that I get out of my head and just focus on how strongly I seem to be running, two strong difficult runs in two days is nothing to sneeze at. Both of them are right of course, but it is really hard not to succumb to the voices of self-doubt.
It is also kind of hard to be blasé about these distances even though I have run such distances before and I have been training. These distances are significant undertakings—26.2 is a long way to go, so is 18.
Why is it so hard to balance these mental demands? The physical demands are relatively easy, and I do mean "relatively". You back down if you need to, ice, etc. but the mental stamina is the really hard part.
I guess it really is, getting out there and putting one foot in front of the other. Good thing I got new kicks. :-)
What do you do?