Thursday, July 09, 2009

Last Stop on the Crazy Train

When it comes to running I come with a lot of emotional baggage. It started back in middle school when I would huff and puff and wheeze after running not much more than 400m. So the assumption was made that I had asthma and that was that. Several medications and years later, nothing worked so I never ran more than I had to. Runs of a mile or longer I cringed at; I usually spent some time walking and most definitely brought up the back of the pack. I sprinted and did field in high school to avoid exerting myself for more than 800m at a time. 400's made me see stars; 800's brought me to my knees.

Jump a few years to after grad school once I had great health insurance and a full time job, and I was determined to come to the bottom of this "thing". Turns out that I don't have asthma; in fact, my lungs are in fantastic shape (better than most). How about that; there's nothing wrong with me. All the excuses I made for all those years were bunk.

So now I'm left with trying to overcome my hatred for and negative attitude about long distance running that I've built up over the past 15 years. This is a mountain that I'm going to have to take one step at a time and I need some guidance. Kristin gifted to me a book on my Amazon wishlist - "The Triathlete's Guide to Mental Training" by Ph.D. Jim Taylor and Terri Schneider. I'm almost finished and I'll be going back to reread sections and work through the exercises in the chapters. In high school I did some pre-performance imagery at the request of an instructor, but I never considered including regular mental training with my regular physical training. I'll be changing that now because I definitely need it.