Tuesday, May 31, 2011

How Mental Is Running? + Hippie Festival Pics

Oh Heeeyyyyy.  Sorry to my five six readers for not posting for four days.  
The lovely BF was in town, and somehow I feel like writing posts when he traveled 800 miles to see me would just come off as rude...

I want to post pics of my weekend but let's start with the running portion first.  

Do you feel like you haven't run to the best of your ability because of something going on in your head?  

I didn't used to think so.  But this morning, I started to be a believer.  

I've been doing treadmill tempo workouts lately because since the marathon, I haven't been capable of running decently on the track.  Last time I went to the track, I ran a 7:02 mile, got frustrated, and ran home.  I don't own a Garmin, so the 'mill is my only good alternative.  

This morning, I did my little treadmill "game o death" (as detailed a couple posts ago) and stayed on for 6 miles at .5 incline.  Mile 1 was 7:24 and Mile 6 was 6:58.  The middle miles were gradually faster.  I was pretty happy with this.  It was pretty darn close to my 10k PR with only the feeling of 85% effort.  In fact, my treadmill performance has been so different from my track performance lately, it led me to question whether my usual treadmill was just wrong.  Fortunately, I hopped to treadmill #3 at the gym and it felt the same.  Phew. 

So what gives?  

Is the treadmill easier?  Sure, .5 incline should be simulating a pretty easy race course, but the difference shouldn't be so drastic.  

I came to the conclusion that I'm crazy.  Or that there's something mentally going on.  This led me to this awesome article Why I Sucked In College earlier posted by WashingtonRanHere

While the whole article is amazing great advice, the points that most spoke to me were to Run By Feel and To Believe in Yourself.  

"A lot of people work hard, put in the work, but feel like they are not ready to reach the next level or are not sure they can reach it. Well racing is a hugely mental thing. And if there is any doubt in your mind as to how you're going to do, when it starts to hurt, you'll start questioning yourself and that will be it."

Is it belief in myself that I'm lacking?  Or just the lack of drive to push myself when an apparatus isn't forcing me to do so on penalty of falling off the moving belt? 
 I'm honestly not sure...maybe both treadmills in the gym are broken/slow (god I hope not) but I'd love to hear about any similar issues with motivation or confidence you've had.    


This weekend, I went to a hippie electronica festival, Lightning In A Bottle..no no...I'm not the hippie you are 

thinking, but my boyfriend is one in a consultant's body so he wanted to go get down like Woodstock.

Lightning In A Bottle Stage
Here are the rules:  

Trunk being searched.

#2...Make the experience educational.
 #1) No smuggling extra hippies in your trunk...

Hippies Expanding Their Knowledge...

#3)  Dress the Part

I was so cold, I bought my own festival pants...you can't see them too well in the pic, but they are blue and purple horizontally striped.  Don't be jealous of my style.  

The next day, we spent some time at the Newport Beach Pier...

It was a pretty freaking beautiful Memorial Day...

It was windy...I am still wearing the Boston Jacket.  

Why spend money on new clothes when you can wear the exact same thing every day?  

I thought you'd agree. 


  1. I've said this before and I'll say it again for someone (YOU) who's had THREE PR's this year I cannot figure out how you are lacking mental confidence just because of a few not great track workouts.

    I'm sure the treadmill was not broken but if you want to check just use your watch to time out a mile and see if it corresponds to the pace you set :p (but do this e.g. on the 2nd mile of a steady pace repeat because the first mile time will include the time it took to get up to the right pace- you're an engineer you'll figure it out).

    I want to add that treadmills are NOT imo easier than running outside. They are boring and it's not like when you get on one your legs magically move at the speed of the belt! You still have to work- if I put the treadmill on a 6 min/mi pace I'm not going to be able to do that just because the belt is moving!! And if you do say a +10 mile run on a treadmill sometime you'll see what difference it makes mentally compared to running around beautiful Orange County :D.

    Finally- you never lacked belief in yourself before- I think it's the strangly competitive world of runner-blogging that is messing with your head!

    You know all my issues so I won't bring them up here :D.

  2. I have mental issues too where sometimes I can't run outside and can run on the TM and sometimes I can't run on the TM and can run outsidde. I think it depends on what kind of run you're doing and is most def mental.

  3. also - did you redo your blog yourself or get someone to do it for you? it looks great! i have a couple q's for you, whats your email? (if you just want to email me, mine is rblanton22@gmail.com

  4. I have running problems sometimes when the weather and environment conditions aren't up to speed.

    I haven't had any mental issues yet, but that's because I've never really tried to 'seriously' train or push myself in a major way yet, but I know that's going to happen when I train for my first marathon this fall!

    So I liked my banner, but my boyfriend didn't so I played around just ended up doing a different photo. The other one was just too much of my face, so I'm going to continue to work on it and see if I can eventually make a less intense one. Yours is perfect.

  5. I think that festival looks like a blast! I wish I had a super cool consultant boyfriend to take me to hippie festivals! Also I hope he is a handsome mexican/puerto rican blend who is funny and a great kisser.

  6. Hippie Festival, how fun! Looks like you had a great weekend!

  7. I have mental issues all of the time. Probably because I'm totally going mental. Ha!

    But seriously, I think the bad days we have as runners are not due to lack of physical ability but can be attributed more to mental weakness that day. Our minds are sometimes so much stronger than our legs, and sometimes, we just have to let them take over for the day.

    How to get through it? Know that you'll have tons of GREAT days to make up for one "bad" day.

    And keep on rocking that jacket, lady. No shame, no shame.

  8. Good for you for giving the 'mill an honest go! The treadmill is the last place I want to be when my mind isnt "in it".

    But, to respond to your post - i have bad days all the time. For me, its key to just get out there and get the workout completed.

  9. That festival looks like a blast!!! I have the mental block at times too and it sucks. I try to just go back in my memory to a really strong point in a race.