Monday, May 10, 2010

Mind vs. Body

By: Black Girls RUN!
Special to RunDivaRun

My mom says that I have a delusional image of myself as a type of super hero with supernatural strength and ability. It’s true…Even in elementary school, I was queen of the playground - jumping off the highest monkey bars and tackling the biggest boys in class. My super hero delusion carried over to the soccer field and basketball court as I challenged anyone who dared to step to me. So, it was pretty difficult for me when I was preparing for my first half marathon, ING Georgia Marathon and Half Marathon, and I couldn’t see an opponent standing on the opposite side of the field. If I’m a super hero, I need a bad guy or opponent to defeat, right?

With no opponent in sight, it slowly felt as though I developed my own internal competition. It was my body versus my mind. It was as if they were battling it out to see who was bigger, stronger and all around more badass. When my body felt good during my long runs, my mind was telling me to stop or that I was too bored to make it through the next seven miles. Conversely, when I was mentally prepared I would develop some sort of nagging body ache or pain. Despite my best efforts, this competition lasted up until race day. I finally sat down and took some time to meditate before the race. Through this meditation, I was able to unite my mind and body on the same team. Once that happened, it became me against the course. My body ran smoothly and injury free and my mind kept it motivated and going.

How do you manage mental and physical preparation for a race? Does your preparation start when you are training or on race day?

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