I've blogged previously about the importance of a runner's mindset to the outcome of a run. Being a slow runner, my body is usually willing to throw in the towel long before I have the miles under my feet that I want. I have to use brain power to keep the body slogging away, step by step, to meet my goals. One of the tools I often use is personal mantras. They're more than just phrases, repeated constantly. My mantras carry a very detailed picture, almost like a mental movie, that will keep me occupied and thinking positively. My favorite, for many runs, has been " the more you run it, the sooner you've done it". The mental picture attached to this one is me walking in the house after the run-the glass of oj, the shower, the pleasantly exhausted feeling in my legs.
I discovered a new mantra yesterday during my 10 miler. I really needed to do 10 miles; my last 2 long runs were dissapointing and had to be cut short. I was determined to finish this one. I was thinking about bonking and just going home and giving up. Somehow, a battle scene from a Lord of the Rings movie came to mind. I remember the king gave a stirring speech to his warriors, something about you're going to die in battle someday or something to that effect. Then he said, "Today is not that day". So I started telling myself, you will bonk. You will have bad runs that you won't complete. You will turn left and go home instead of turning right and running 10 miles. Today is not that day. I kept running that battle scene in my mind, imagining myself as a warrior-a running warrior woman who would run 10 miles today, sword in hand, battling orcs the whole way (have I mentioned that I have a very active imagination?). And I kept running, one step at a time, and I did 10 miles, telling myself constantly that today is not that day.