Pushing through Mental Blockades

I survived the first week of training and rightfully earned my rest day! It’s been hard to schedule my workouts while settling back into school, but I managed to squeeze in enough time to finish the required amount according to my plan.

However, I have felt the mental blockades start to creep in. Remember, I haven’t run more than a 10K before and that was a few years ago, so the thought of running 13.1 miles at a time is a bit daunting. In fact, it’s so intimidating that I try not to look ahead on my schedule and instead only focus on whatever I need to complete that day.

Yesterday I was required to run/walk four miles, so I plugged in my summer playlist and set out determined to run as much of the distance as I could. I completed two miles before I had to stop and tie my shoe, which sparked the mental anxiety. Thoughts of doubt started to seep in, such as:

  • Just finish this song, then you can stop.
  • There’s no way you can finish that distance right now.
  • My leg is too swollen (I’ve cleared it with my doctor, so deep down I know this isn’t true).
  • There’s not enough blood flow in my left leg.
  • You’re not ready for this.
  • I feel like I’m carrying an extra 10 pounds on my left leg.
  • I’m so tired.
  • My body hurts.
  • You’ve done great so far, you can just pick up the slack later.

This is going to be my biggest struggle throughout my training and race day. I caved every once in awhile and walked, but didn’t allow myself to walk for more than the duration of one song. Luckily, one song popped on at just the right time to really get the mojo flowing again.

Music makes you lose control.

“Push Push,” by Kat DeLuna and Akon got me back on track and motivated me to keep running. I know it’s not about working out or goals, but I took some of the lyrics to heart. Which ones? The chorus, of course!

Push, push, push baby don’t stop for a minute.

Oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh!

I said push, push baby take it to the limit!

In the end, I ended up pushing through and running 5.6 miles! It took me longer than I would’ve liked, but I’m really proud of myself for finishing! I’m not unbelievably sore today either, so I’m amped up for tomorrow’s workout!

Completed in 1:01:05

What do you do to get through mental blockades? How do you keep the motivation flowing?


Posted on January 29, 2011, in Exercise, Goals, Mental Health, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. “mental blockades? How do you keep the motivation flowing?”
    Samantha, this is always a difficult question to answer.
    I think if you do plenty of easy training first then enter an event a couple of months before then one can use the “I don’t want to waste the training I have already done” as a kicker to get one to start the sesion.
    during the training use out and back coarses rather than laps. Laps are to easy to give up at any time!
    During the run focus on technique, smotheness of motion, leg extension, foot alignment and most of all breathing! Counting steps over which one breathes in and the number of steps over which one exhails is one way to keep a steady pace for someone like me that has no ability to maintain a steady pace otherwise. Don’t look or think to far ahead!
    Do the best you can within the boudaries you have set that you can at any one moment. Keep track of heart rate to keep within the zone you need.
    By concentrating on the details while you run it can help one get through the distance with a sensible, consistant run without burning ones bridges.
    Acurate distance, route and heart rate logging is esential to stop one lying to ones self!

    To be truthfull I am new to all of this and these are the motivators I use to keep going. I don’t enjoy exercise as if I did I would have done some between ages 16 and 49, which I did not. Having just turned 52 I have now done 1 year of walking and two years of running. I have never been any good at sports and so did not participate in them. I am not very good at running but am setting myself some targets and leveraging my competative nature to push myself. I log everything so that I can see if I am progressing or dropping back. Without an acurate log its impossible to identify what one has done.
    There is so much more but as you know, people write books on the subject so a few lines here realy dont cut it do they 🙂

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