Sunday, April 18, 2010

Photo Winners and Needing Some Insight

The results are in. Thanks for all of the votes in the worst dressed running photo contest.

Winner for the boys: Fairy with no Camel Toe

Winner for the girls: Barefoot Angie B. and Her Bulge

You guys played along well. Winners - send me your addresses and I’ll get you your hydration packs!

Okay – sorry if my adventures in poop were a bit too much to handle yesterday for my 18.5 mile run. You guys were worried about me. My responses to your questions and concerns:

  • No, I don’t poop that much everyday. In fact, there are many days, weeks when I don’t poop at all
  • No, there is nothing physically wrong with me (I’ve had every GI workup and allergy test you can think of). A night of a huge Chipotle burrito and two glasses of chardonnay pre long run were to blame
  • No, I am not a lover of pooping outside, i.e., fecopheliac. I would much prefer a warm bathroom with a hot pink fuzzy toilet seat and an issue of US Weekly to some hollowed out tree on a busy road
  • Yes, I bring toilet paper. To avoid polluting the environment, I usually eat it
  • No, I don’t take Imodium. That stuff messes me up for years at a time. Thanks for the suggestion, though

I had some insight on my long run yesterday. I think it was at about 14 miles where I hit my slump. I thought to myself, “I bet everyone has a point in a long run where they desperately want to cop out.” Or is it just me?

Mentally at 14 miles I was dog shit. I was far enough along into the run to be hurting mentally and physically, but not far enough along to think I was truly close to the end. I was psyching myself out. I hurt. I can't do it. I want to quit. Shit, I don’t want to do it. I could call Ken to pick me up. I could walk. Who would care? Who would know? The problem is, I care and I don’t quit. EVER.

Today, as I’m only exactly three weeks out from my marathon, I am starting to think about brain strategy. What will I tell myself when it gets tough?  I am already starting visualizing myself running a fast, strong and happy race. I see myself with a smile on my face, taking in the Colorado scenery as I lightly fly along the course. I see my children and parents and husband at the finish. I see what I am wearing, how I am feeling. I see it all and know I can run a strong race.

Yet, I am scared. Terrified, in fact. So much is on the line. 16 weeks of tough training. One injury overcome. All for one race on one day. Talk about all the eggs in one basket. My only wish at the finish is to have no regrets and to have run the race to the very best of my ability on that day. And to maybe BQ. But I don’t count on that. In fact, I never say it out loud. Writing it even gives me the willies.

I was wondering: do we all hit these pitfalls and major mental breakdowns in our runs or is it just me? What do you tell yourself when you’ve reached your limit, but need to keep going? You know, I look to you for inspiration and guidance, whether you know it or not. I lean on YOU! Pass on your words of wisdom…

Finally, I am sharing this picture with you because it makes me happy. I don’t show many pictures of my kids on here, and don’t talk about them too much. But this one picture is enough to keep anyone going on a bad day and I wanted you to see it:

jesi =)_0518

Happy week to come…


  1. Wow, to tell you the truth YOU keep me going on a hard day. I am a total newbie and want to walk ALL the time. But you know what I say? "Shut up and run!" I hope it helps you to know that you help me. I am running my first half in 2 weeks :)

  2. The bragging rights of running such a long distance keeps me going. I'd rather tell everyone that I ran 18 miles than tell them that I quit at 14. Great picture, by the way!!

  3. I absolutely love that picture! :)

    I think the mental part of training and racing is sometimes harder than the physical part. I also think everyone is scared and kind of freaks out about their upcoming races...especially if it's a big one you've been training for for a long time!

    One thing that keeps me going is knowing that it is easy to quit, but it takes strength and determination to keep going. And when I finish something, I want to know that I gave it my all and have no regrets!

  4. You said it best yourself, "Shut Up and Run."
    Tell the negative talks in your mind to shut up and you just keep running.
    Remember, mind over the body. No excuses. Just do it!

  5. Yeah to the winners! Thanks for hosting the giveaway! and uh...oh YAH mental valleys are part of it all. damn. wish it wasn't but it's part of the process...

    and yah, the pic of your lil' ones is so freakin' cute;-)

  6. Agreed with Momma, and kinda like you said: you want to finish with no regrets. The second you stop, you'd regret it for a lifetime. So at the end of the day, quitting just isn't an option. Almost as if it doesn't exist so you HAVE to keep going! (My dirty little secret, however, has more to do with competition, especially with peers...keep them in mind, and not only don't you stop, but you push harder!)

  7. This post is really timely for me b/c I have been mentally struggling lately. I have my 2nd half on deck next weekend (ran the first on 2/14) and literally JUST completed my registration b/c I have been mentally in the shitter on my long runs lately. (Though admitedly I do almost ALL of my training on the treadmill and that may have something to do with it)

    What works for me is literally disassociating myself from my body b/c I refuse to quit and I know what the consequences will be if I don't hold pretty true to my training. (Sometimes this works, other times...well, those are the shit runs, no pun intended)I actually often think about the other bloggers out there who are way stronger (and faster!) than me and try to conjure up some of that strength and I think of those that are out there (like you!) running way further than me so I basically tell myself to suck it up and just do it. Plus I know how great I'll feel afterwards (and at this point, that I've conquered the distance before) so I try to think how I'll feel at the end, knowing what I've accomplished.

  8. That is a fantastic picture!
    I hit a wall around mile seven until I get some calories and then am fine until about 15 and hit another wall. I just rely on the fact that I made a decision and there is no other alternative to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
    I tell myself to stop arguing and just suck it up and keep going. I usually feel better by mile 17 and then it hurts more to stop than to keep going! The loud suck it up voice is usually louder than the I feel like shit voice!
    I told myself the same thing as above when I was in labor with my boys too!

  9. Great post and stunning pic of your kids! The battle of the mind is very tough sometimes. Have a good week!

  10. My slump usually begins at Mile 1...

  11. That is a great pic of your kids!
    I haven't fun any farther than 14 miles yet since it is a kettlebell certification workshop I'm training for, but after that it's back full time to the runs/bikes/swims. What keeps me going through the mental workouts of thousands of kb swings and the such is just knowing how "shitty" I felt when I weighed over 300lbs to now how "high" I feel after a hard workout-no matter what that workout was. Once you're fat and lose it, you NEVER want to go there again so I keep moving.

  12. Being a race virgin, I look to you for inspiration...and I have absolutely no doubt that you will have an amazing race :)

    What a great picture of your kids!

  13. It helps that there's no one with a car to pick me up should I decide to stop short of my intended distance. Also, knowing that running will get me home faster than walking always does the trick. At least for me.

    P.S.--That's a great photo. :)

  14. I really love the photo!!!

  15. First--yay for Angie B! So cool.

    Love the pic of your kids--what a keeper.

    Third--I think you are well on your way to the right mental state, from what you are saying. Keep up the visualization. Trust your training. I find that confidence heading into a race makes all the difference.

    Start tapering and getting ready!

  16. Here is my quote I read before a race:

    "I may not win. I may not place, but I will finish. For what is the point in stopping what you have started? You only cheat yourself. But worse than that, you have stolen from those that have supported you. Their sacrifices are greater than yours... To sacrifice for another is true sacrifice, not the selfish sacrifice of one for himself."


    Read that before your race, and think of the times you trained and how the family put up with all our racing crap and you will get past that wall.

  17. Such a cute picture! Thanks for sharing!

  18. There was an article in the recent Runner's World about GI issues. As I have experienced many issues myself...they mentioned trying a gluten free diet - it really helped me out, not sure if you read that article as well :)

    PS I love reading your blog, you are an inspiration and have a great sense of humor!

  19. James Brown: I feel good!

    Has always done wonders for me around 20 miles.

  20. GREAT picture...priceless... The marathon sounds like the BEST way to spend Mother's Day

  21. Yeah, I call that mental breakdown the why-the-heck-am-doing-this moment. I think its a mental defense mechanism that stops us from hurting ourselves. I just have to push through it to get to the end.

  22. Love the photo! That would make me happy too!

  23. I did an 18 mile run this weekend too and 14 was where I started to really mentally breakdown. I can keep my body going but I think it's just hard to give yourself a mental pep talk for 3 hours straight. Staying positive about yourself for 3 hours is draining! I ended up putting on some motivating music and thinking of WHY I'm really doing this marathon (raising money for LLS). I still need to work on fueling or something though, cause my pace went to all hell.

  24. First: for some reason, the new layout of the blog causes major slowdowns on my computer.

    Second: Yeah, there's a point in every long run where you feel awful. There's usually one around 2.5-3.5 hours, another at 5-6 hours (the one at 17-20 hours you don't really need to think about). That's where training really starts.

    Third: I've made a life out of talking myself into continuing when I think I'm done. In marathons, I usually end up thinking, "Well, I have to get to the finish line anyway, might as well run it."

    Fourth: best of luck!

  25. That picture would keep me going on a bad day too!

  26. so many of your posts are exactly like how i feel (esp the poop stories). i say those things to myself too often, in fact. but like you, i push through and refuse to quit. it only makes us stronger. but before my BQ attempt in the fall, i prepped myself for these thoughts. i knew exactly when i would have them and i had a plan in place to shut them up. preppring for that race really made me realize how much of this is mental.

    you got this BQ!

  27. I just wanted to tell you that I am soo jealous of your scenery! I absolutely LOVE Colorado and its my dream to move there someday.

    For me, I am training for my first marathon this summer and the longest mileage I have gone so far is 16.25.. I haven't given it any thought about what I am going to think of to keep me goig mentally during my race but I know what has worked for me so far. I run with a group of about 6 girls who are absolutely amazing! They push me to better myself and it definitely helps to have others there who encourage you to keep going! I also run with an MP3 player if I start to sike myself out to bad I will listen to some music and just loose myself in the lyrics!

    It also helps me to read others blogs.. Its encouraging to know that I'm not the only one who is having all these thoughts and questions about whether I can finish!!

    Good Luck!! :)

  28. I never feel like quitting. Never. Maybe around mile 35 or 36 I get just a little winded but that's it.

  29. That is an awesome picture!

    I have had those same mental problems. When I ran Grandma's in '08 I wanted to quit from the first mile. It got really bad after the halfway point. I just kept telling myself, go one more mile and if you still feel like quitting you can. Giving myself permission to chuck it if things really got bad was enough to keep me going one more mile at a time until the end! Good luck finishing out your last few weeks of training!

  30. I don't read the poopy posts...sorry. But yes there is usually a point in my long run where i think I am a retard for training to do another marathon...then I keep going and I'm fully satisfied I did it again!

  31. SUch a fun and UPlifting pic ;)

    I tell myself- make yourself proud AND Life doesn't put things in front of you that you are unable to handle.

  32. I love this post, but it scared me. Are you in my head? That's exactly how I felt during my last marathon. During the last two miles, I just kept telling myself to straighten up and put one foot in front of the other! That's all I could think of. I finished, but was very disappointed with my time. I think I need a better mantra for the next one and I want to write it on something that I can carry with me during the race. I read somewhere that Kara Goucher uses the terms "fighter" and "courage" to keep her going. Maybe, that can work for us mere mortals too!

  33. lol...that's good.

    No your not alone. i feel like copping out sometimes too. In fact just this weekend. It happens. I don't quit either. I usually trash talk myelf wiht things like, suck it up....somebody out there is training harder than you right now.

    That is a GREAT picture!

  34. Way to man up and finish! I'm proud of you! I remember when i was in training mode and had runs like that. I'm glad you stuck with it- runs like that is what carry you across the finish line. Dont lose sight of whats important- a bq is important but also remember to have fun... because if its not fun, whats the point! :) xoxo

  35. Nice job on your run! That's a great pace, I'm so happy for you. BQ here you come.

    I hit the wall on my 20 miler on Sunday. At mile 14, same as you. I had already done over 16 miles in runs, two bike rides, a swim, and some strength leading up to the 20 miler and I was exhausted. I called Rick at mile 14 and told him I was so not in a good place mentally. He asked me what I was going to do and I told him that I would of course finish. I am like you, I don't quit, I don't care how hard it is, I don't quit. You and I have worked too hard and have put too much into this to walk away now!

    He met me with a gatorade at mile 16 and that cheered me up enough to finish (after I cried). I finished in 3 hours.

    I think training is the hard part, it's going to all come together for us on the marathon. Or at least I hope it does!

  36. I love reading your blog. I am a new runner and it is really hard ALL the time. I know that one day it won't be.
    You really inspire me to keep my sense of humor while I run. The way I keep myself going is daydreaming. My favorite: I listen to my i-pod and fantasize that I am on American Idol...complete with hip movements and jazz hands. Yeah...imagine that running down the road.
    Your kids look so cute. I have a redhead, too so I have a weakness for them!

  37. Awesome pic! Love your new blog design, too! I just registered for my first marathon - I was split between being inspired & exhilarated; and scared to death! I think everyone has those moments. I'm sure you'll rock it!

    Winks & Smiles,

  38. Ok now, first, your kids are adorable, and that picture is so amazingly jubilant it just made me grin.

    I am by no means a distance runner, yet, but I totally know what you're talking about with the head games. Mine usually start about 1/4 mile in. Yesterday mine started about halfway up the Hill-o-Doom.

    Any suggestions for how to deal with the "oh man I can't do this, I should just walk for a bit..." going on loop in the back of my head would be awesome!

  39. First - the photo of the kids is FANTASTIC!

    Second - when I want to stop or quit, I start thinking 1 of 2 things. The first: This is only xxxx minutes in the rest of my life. I can DO THIS!
    The second, matra ...."running distance is all about continuting on when you don't want to. Push the limit - they can do it.. you can do it".

  40. I love the picture of your kids. Adorable.

    I know that I hit a point when I want to quit a lot of the times that I am running. It helps if I just push myself a little further... often, it seems to get easier after a few more miles. I usually feel so much better knowing that I worked past my feeling of wanting to quit and beat it.

  41. I like to visualize finish lines. I'm a finish-line-oholic (not to be confused with fecopheliac). When a run is tough, I pretend that the finish line is around the corner or in X miles. Every step you take is bringing you closer to that marathon finish line!

  42. My mantra for when I feel like that is "just snail it in, just snail it in". It's ok to slow down a bit until you get over that mental (and physical) hump.

  43. HA! My slump hits me at mile 3 anymore ;)

    there are many days, weeks when I don’t poop at all

    Now with me being a nurse, that statement WILL make me worry about you!