Body versus mind: Who will win?

I’m running a half-marathon in two days as a training run. It’s comical because that used to be the ultimate goal; now it’s just a small hurdle.

After the half-marathon, I’ll be close to hitting the halfway point in my 18-week training program. As I’ve moved through the weeks, I’ve realized that marathon training is much more than just running.

Sure, I have to run five days a week, but after training for many half-marathons, it’s not new to me. It’s the mix of the physical aspect of the training with the mental aspect, however, that is new.

Most days I’m pushing my mind rather than my legs. Or maybe it’s the other way around, but it’s hard to tell when the mental and physical become one jumbled mess I have to sort through daily.

Dealing with the struggle between my body and my mind is worse than trying to solve an argument between toddlers fighting over candy.

“Get up and go run!” my mind says when the alarm rings.

“NOOOOO!” my body cries in response.

My body has yet to win. However, my body does find smaller victories throughout the day in the form of naps, longer than needed stays on the toilet, and constant pangs asking its bodily host to stretch, massage and walk slower.

In an effort to be a good companion, my mind usually complies during those brief moments of resistance. When the real fights emerge, though, my mind doesn’t play games. It puffs out its chest, bracing for the hardest blows. It repeats phrases and mantras to maintain its spirit. “Push,” “faster,” and “stronger” are some of its favorites; it’s also a fan of “I can. I am. I will.” and “until I collapse.” My mind is strong-willed and a go-getter; it doesn’t back down easily.

till i collapse

So where does this lead the bodily host (hey, that’s me)? It leaves me feeling badass and confident when I spend time with my mind, but afterwards, when it’s time to give my body some attention, it leaves me feeling sleepy, sluggish and starving.

Just over nine more weeks to go … so the battle continues.

But I’ll let you in on a secret: I’m always rooting for my mind to win.

It’s mean that I get to win, too, and I’ll be damned if I don’t earn my 26.2 car magnet!

marathon training 2



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