Saturday, May 3, 2014

Upcoming Races and "Mental Chafing"

I have been completely absorbed in the book I mentioned last week written by Holocaust survivor, Ben Fainer, and I spent last night curled up in bed reading.  It's a nice change of pace, actually, because I haven't been reading much lately and I've missed it.

Unfortunately, I did not go for a run yesterday or today, but I did do a bit of walking yesterday and about 2 hours of yard work today.  I'm not a big fan of gardening/yard work, honestly.  I know many people find gardening to be very relaxing and peaceful, but I can't get on board.  I came to the conclusion tonight that it is because of my OCD.  I was pulling out two large bushes in our backyard to make room for a beautiful hydrangea I got when my Dad passed away and it was exhausting.  I only intended on removing one bush, but then I decided I could probably manage the upkeep on a little area near our back door and decided to remove the other bush and make a small garden.  Nick was really excited to hear this and said that we needed to buy seeds and signs; it was quite cute.  I managed to open up a huge blister on my left palm since I decided to attempt the bush pulling without gloves (duh, Laura) and while I do feel accomplished in that I removed both bushes, I also realize that I still have a lot of work to do tomorrow.  It will be nice to spend more time outdoors tomorrow, though.  The boys and I enjoyed spending some time outside and getting some fresh air.

I'd like to go out for a run tomorrow before I tackle more gardening, especially since I have a few races coming up.

  • May 18th: St. Louis Children's Hospital Make Tracks for the Zoo Run/Walk; I've done this race the past few years and it is one of my favorites.  Nick did one of the kid's runs last year and it was so fun running with him!  We run through Forest Park and then enter the Zoo for a post-race breakfast and the award ceremony.  
  • June 14th: Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure; I've also participated in this race for many years and it's near and dear to my heart.  My mom and I have been going downtown since 2009 for the Race for the Cure and it's just as special each year.  St. Louis' Race for the Cure is the largest 5K in the world and it is always inspiring to see thousands of people in pink honoring those we've lost to breast cancer and supporting those who are fighting the disease currently. 
I'd like to do some other races this summer, so I'm keeping my eyes open for other opportunities in July and August!

Our local Fleet Feet affiliate sends out a weekly newsletter that I receive and I always enjoy Amy Marxkors' articles; she's candid, funny, and insightful and this week was no different.  Her article this week was about mental chafing and it really spoke to me, particularly in the context of my recent half marathon.  She says "it's the mental dialogue, the back and forth between negative thoughts and positive, that wears us down.  For every attack there must be a counterattack. For every 'I can't' there must be an 'I can.'"  This is so true for me on practically every run, not just on race day.  Amy's friend, Megan, said it best: "I need to RunGuard my brain."  I need to keep this in mind on every run and counteract the negative thoughts with the positive to relieve the "mental chafing" that I always seem to get!  

"If you train your mind for running, everything else will be easy."