Mind games

It is often claimed that running is 90% mental and 10% physical. It’s a theory I’ve long subscribed to, and after tonight’s performance I’m even more convinced it’s true.

After far too many weeks of chickening out (or forgetting!) I finally made the step back up to the club 45-minute session.

To be honest, I wasn’t really feeling it. Maybe I was suffering from the after effects of the run on Sunday morning, or maybe it was the drinks later that night (!) … more likely just a combination of both of them.

(BTW, I don’t drink very often so any quantity is likely to have an effect, I’m not some raging alcoholic who over did it!)

Anyway, as I said, I moved back up to the 45-minute session. It was a very large group and looking around at some of them I knew I’d possibly struggle to keep up.

Obviously, I know it’s my run and I run it at my pace etc. etc., but it’s still very hard not to get swept along and try to keep up with everyone else.

I was grand for the first mile but as the route took us up the Cushendall Road my brain told me that there’s no way I could cope with this ‘pace’ up to the top of the road. I was convinced we were going faster than I was used to, despite the stats saying different.

It wasn’t a pace I hadn’t maintained before or nothing I wasn’t used to but my mind wasn’t having any of it and promptly pulled the shutters down.

Knowing that once we got to the top of the road that we could turn right onto the Fry’s Road and a long downhill section I somehow dredged up the strength to get there before trying to redeem myself on the descent.

That was all well and good until we got to the bottom when we turned right again onto the Broughshane Road and another ‘climb’ up to the top which looped us back to the bottom of the Cushendall Road.

This beat me but, having no option but to carry on, I made it back to the rest of the group for the last ten minutes or so back to the Leisure Centre, berating myself all the way and no doubt irritating the poor tail runner in the process. Sorry.

As I said, I had convinced myself we were going a lot faster than the 30-minute group but the stats later showed it was more or less the same speed.

It just goes to show that the mind is such a powerful tool. If you believe you’d a world beater then you can achieve anything but if you’re sure that you’re the polar opposite then everything seems awful.

But, ending on a positive note, at least I’m back with the 45s and next time I’m struggling with them I’ll remember that it’s just my mind playing tricks. Surely that’s worth something.

Relive my run

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