Mind Games

"You learn to run a certain pace and you kind of just callous yourself over and over again and it just gets a little bit easier and a little bit easier and you’re able to hold on a bit more," Olympian Amy Hastings has found. (source)

Amy Hastings Amy Hastings competes in the women's 10,000 meter final during Day One of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field on June 22, 2012 in Eugene, Oregon.

(source)

I’ve been thinking a lot about grit and callousing oneself during running, and how that might spill over into our everyday lives.

Just yesterday I took Oldest to get new shoes, as his knees were aching in his worn-out Kinvara 3’s.

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(He chose these sweet kicks.)

While we are browsing, I generally act like I am not paying attention to him.  I do this because I don’t want to influence him with my own running shoe bias.  (Of course he knows I am crazy and slice off the heels of my shoes, etc.)  But still.  I want to let him decide for himself.

So besides staring at a hunky runner who was trying on shoes on the other side of the store, I had to occupy myself with the latest edition of Competitor.

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My eyes landed directly onto this quote from Dean Karnazes, which felt meaningful to me, as I still haven’t been able to fully process how I made it through a marathon while suffering through stomach cramps.  Though I wasn’t quite as Zen as Dean about it, I can identify with just trying to concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other.  And feeling horrible yet knowing that you still have hours of running ahead.  And doing it anyway. 

(I was definitely searching for mile markers.)

I do think that developing this sort of grit, and callousing myself as a runner, makes me better at sticking with my commitments, even when the going gets tough. 

Just this week I have had many instances where I have wanted to throw my hands in the air and give up;  however, I am beginning to believe that giving up isn’t in my nature anymore.

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For example, I didn’t give up on the dregs of the almond butter jar.  Instead, I made “chocolate chips in a jar.”  It’s like “oats in a jar,” but better.  Much better.

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I also didn’t give up when Oldest was unmoved by my newly-acquired recipe book. 

Instead, I told him to mark some recipes that he wanted me to make.  Thirty minutes later I had my shopping list and a menu.

And when Youngest said that he didn’t, in fact,  want to learn his multiplication tables, I told him that he had to do it or he wouldn’t get to eat my Feed Zone dinner (just kidding – sort of).

But the point is, running alters our thinking process.  And bad races can have good outcomes besides making us feel worthless. 

So I want to thank each and every one of you who has not given up on me, the ones who continue to hang in there and read this blog despite my occasional failures.

Because there are sure to be many more.

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