CIM Week Twelve–“Get Your Head Right”

Last week’s recap talked about my goals to get a grip on the mental side of training. Saturday’s failed long run (vindicated by a great attempt#2 on Sunday) was a real wake up to JUST HOW MUCH your mindset can affect your performance.

The “Goals” page in the Believe I Am Journal has three separate flowers for goal-dreaming, encouraging you to look further than times/distances/paces, and aspects of your life other than running.

I showed you a glimpse of my “quantitative flower” in my first Sisters in Sport post, and I figure now would be the perfect time to share my “qualitative flower”. These are the “shortcomings’” (aka things I suck at) that I feel are holding me back – I can track and tempo and long run my body into shape, but without my head and heart reciprocating, I’ll fall short every time.


(if you’re curious, yes, the 3rd flower IS non-running related. it’s the only one not completely filled in, though. working on it)

Sitting down and thinking through my ‘flaws’ was eye-opening and strangely encouraging. We (er, I, at least) get so wrapped up in the measurable gains – the numbers in our training logs and PR lists – that it’s easy to overlook the other not-so-evident improvements we’re making.

Shifting some of my focus away from the number flower and onto “Get Your Head Right” opens a whole new level of goals to work towards. And while they won’t be as easily measured or documented, my success here will be applied directly to those big scary numbers on the other side of the page.

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CIM Training – Week #12

Su – 15 mi LR. After bailing at 9 the day before, I wanted to go into this Attempt #2 run with the realistic mentality that ‘yes, it’s going to be hard/slow/painful. you’ve spent 4 weeks on the kinda-sorta-DL. do what you can and try to enjoy it.’

Amazing how much of a difference it makes. Also not shocking? Taking it easy early meant there was gas in the tank for a pretty rad negative split and fast finish. Funny how that works.

photo a4

(no Gdata bc I ran with Brian’s watch bc Hulk here ripped the surgically-repaired strap back off hers)

M –Rest

T –Unplanned rest

W –6 “Easy” turned into 6 faster-than-MGP and it felt awesome. Don’t know if it was the neglected ST5s, fresh playlist, or extra day of rest, but this was one of those “I could run like this forever!” runs. Which is promising, esp if “forever” = 26.2.

photo a22

(or maybe the superglue’d Garmin?)

Th – 5.5mi Fartlek(12x60s). Ran these based on feel simply because I was too lazy to come up with a target pace beforehand. Apparently “Fast & Hard” = 6:32 avg for the sprints, with a 6:04 final. Booyah.

(SO relieved to get back and not see that what felt “fast & hard” was actually 9min/mi)

F – rest. so many rest days! (sense sarcasm)

Sa – 16ish mi LR (20 planned) Despite a myriad of road blocks, this run actually felt awesome. I’m on a trend of the final long-long training run always being my best/favorite. I’m cool with that.

So I ran out to Back Bay where K had gotten an early start on her 20 miler (she had to go to work after – gross) and purposely ran the opposite direction until I ran into her around mile 4. I got to run the last 5 miles of her run with her, including a hill she said she’d planned to walk.

Or how bout you run it, and then drop some low 8’s and try to leave me in the dust instead? Ok, Kristina.

Garmin died (just a drop in the WTF THIS MORNING?? bucket) so here are 5.81 miles of splits. We can pretend the rest of the run was the same.


Back Bay is great because it’s 10mi around and connects to a river trail you can tangent out on. I knew that I ran 3.85mi before finding K (which would subsequently tack on to the end) so to get my 20 I needed to jut out 1.15 mi along the river.

I shit you not, I just looked at an old run to see how far out the road was I turned around at…

1.16 miles. Freaking win of the damn day.

Anyway, around what I’d guess was 15 I started feeling the familiar tug/twinge on the front of my right leg. I went back-and-forth between “it’s just normal LR pain” and “no, it’s the tib strain, it’s coming back”, and finally decided to bag it at the spot I met K (~4mi in).

COULD I have ran those last 4 miles? Hell. Yes. I felt awesome, and strong, and despite not having Garmin to back me with stats, I was kicking this run’s ass. I was EXCITED to be running and WANTED to gut out those final miles. Going into Ragnar and taper on the heels of a 20 like that would have been incredible in so many ways.

But I knew something wasn’t right, and I knew I’d be better safe than sorry.

So I walked until I found someone NOT wearing a fuel belt or whizzing 40mph on a fancy bike and asked to use their phone.

“Hi I know I have sweat pouring off my face but can I put your touchscreen up to my head and make an emergency call home? I don’t want to run anymore.”

I knew Brian wouldn’t answer a foreign #, so I left a voicemail and kept walking to the intersection I told him to meet me at. When I got there (really wish Garmin was on – my power walk/limp is smoking) and B still wasn’t, I asked some other guy walking his dog to use his. At least I wasn’t so sweaty at this point.

B: “Yeah, I’m coming – I went down to get in your car and you have a flat tire?”

Ahhhh, symbolic irony. Or ironic symbolism. Either way. Busted tire = busted* leg.

(*I really don’t think it’s busted. I think pulling up short, icing, and compressing was the right thing to do and tomorrow it’ll be fine. IT’S THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING)

photo a3

pink argyle –> Monday!

= 42.5 mi

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And that’s the tale of the week. Still a lot of up-and-down, but I’m handling it MUCH better than I think old Sarah would have. Writing down the positive, uplifting feelings along with the honest, diagnose’y leg feelings made me feel like I’m still in control and have a grasp on how the next few weeks can (and will) go.

Including a trip to the tire shop.


Sarah OUaL


19 thoughts on “CIM Week Twelve–“Get Your Head Right”

  1. Thank you for sharing your “qualitative flower”! It takes courage to do that… and most people wouldn’t do that. We all have those little mental blocks that are holding us back. You are brave enough to share yours! Awesome!
    I LOVE the minute hard/minute easy workout. Been doing it the past 2.5 years and it has gotten me so fast and strong! Good choice!
    Also good to be smart with the leg twinges and call the long run off. Better get to the start line healthy!


  2. I love this post. I can 100% relate to the mental battles! After the Columbus Marathon I wrote down goals for the next cycle of training, and they look creepily similar to your qualitative flower!
    I hope your leg recovers soon! I think some GLBC Christmas Ale is obviously the cure. (I am currently working on bribing my bf in Cleveland to ship me some to Columbus. It has not yet been successful.)


  3. I think focusing on qualitative aspects of running ends up really impacting the quantitative stuff. Good use of a flower. Since there are only 3, I always try to picky my goals wisely!

    And, I swear, writing things down helps my running more than any workout probably ever could.


  4. I think you were smart to pull the plug when you started to feel something in the tib. And I agree with you on the long runs. If I go out with my I-don’t-want-to-be-out-here attitude, it all goes wrong. Right now, for whatever reason, I dread anything over about 90 minutes. So I am not forcing myself to do anything longer or I will end up hating it all. I will want to run long again, just not right now.

    The Kidless Kronicles


  5. For some silly reason I keep forgetting you’re doing Ragnar…and that it’s really, really soon. I am glad your runs went well this week and that you were so smart and ended the run when the pain began. Smart smart smart. You will be really ready for your races…just keep taking good care of that body that is going to run them! :)


  6. I love the positivity :) Although I only have 1 marathon under my belt, I hope to have many more. Sometimes that mental battle is tougher than the physical one. Good luck at Ragnar (I’m super jealous by the way!!)! And, have you tried Leinenkugel’s Octoberfest beer?? You really should :) Especially after a LR :)


  7. Getting the head in the game is so true – and a lesson I need to learn. I’m currently in the ‘but I don’t wanna run a marathon’ stage and it’s not helping my CIM mindset at. all. Thanks for the reminder! Enjoy Ragnar!


  8. Wow, this is some uber positivity coming from you….sounds like a crap a$$ week and it sounds like you made the best of it…don’t know if I could have kept my cool.
    Lately my mantra is “Isn’t it ironic, dontcha think?”….it’s like my theme song lately.
    Sometimes you have to not let it get to you…so you don’t go postal :)


  9. Sheesh…sounds like burnout, might need to take a break for a while. P.S. thought you said you were going to talk about some OTHER thing besides running…


  10. got my journal and will start filling it out tomorrow! thanks for sharing yours! i love that you actually listen to your body and don’t just worry about the number. hope you are tracking that :) sorry about the tire! and good luck this weekend!! yall are going to kill it! can’t wait to follow along!


  11. It takes so much mental courage to pull from a long run and then re-do it the next day!! I think you are so ready for a great CIM!!! I can’t wait, i’m hoping these weeks fly by with lots of ups and minimal downs!!!
    great job listening to your body, keep it up! :)


  12. Fellow sister in sport checking out your blog and update! Bummer about the tibia, I understand injury frustration, I am dealing with back to back injuries! And keep listening to your body :) even if your mind still wants to run!!!



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