Mindset Adjusts But Goals Remain The Same?

[caption id="attachment_9540" align="alignright" width="206"]mindset - ultra trail race - run Source: JeeJee Safir[/caption] Mindset can be your best asset, yet simultaneously can be your worst enemy.  When I first tied up a pair of running shoes my mindset was:  How Far Can I Go?  That day I lasted 400 meters around a track before feeling as if kerosene were poured down my throat and a match lit inside my lungs.  It burned and it hurt bad.  Instead of going home I walked 400 meters.  I then went for a second run of 400 meters and that same burning feeling came on.  400 more meters of walking and I headed home.  A total of 1 mile but my mindset was established.  I was going to tackle this whole running thing.  I was not going to give up on myself or my goal which at the time was to run 1 mile straight.  In less than a week I ran that mile and the next goal was set.  2 miles running.  Then 5 miles running.  Then 10 miles running.  You get the picture. I got to the start line of that first half-marathon in the heat and humidity and gave it my all.  Around Mile 10 I had to walk because the fuel to go on was gone.  What happened that day has been happening ever since.  For the past 7 years I have trained for a race.  I have gone to the start line and raced my hardest.  Some days were terrific and other days just sucked.  Either way I was going back to the training grind to get better.  To help develop a new skill for making me a better athlete. Along the way I have realized that the one asset I have is a strong-willed mindset.  I am a determined person and I pursue my goals and dreams with an almost reckless abandon.  This weekend I will be at the starting line of a 100 mile race.  I have zero clue as to what will unfold.  I haven't the foggiest idea if I can make it because it is all unknown, just like that first half-marathon.  What I do know is that my mindset is to go and race the course.  My mindset has been established to allow myself to be smart about the race and pace it from the start.  I have established a feeding routine as well as a drinking routine so that my mind will be as clear as it can be and capable of pushing my body for 20+ hours of running.  Being a stubborn mule, in this scenario, is going to provide me the strength to carry-on and also to motivate Dave and Jeff along the way. This morning as Karen was leaving for work she expressed some fear about us doing this race.  Karen will not be there so I can understand her thought process, but I gave her every bit of confidence that this was going to be fine.  She asked me to not go beyond my capabilities and I promised her I wouldn't.  I told her that I would not allow myself to crumble to the ironwill of the finish line.  Being smart about this race is what is going to allow me to finish this race.  And once the race is complete the focus and mindset will shift to the next training cycle, but while on the course I will be living in the moment. [caption id="attachment_9538" align="alignright" width="225"]mindset - ultra trail race - run Source: Career Rocketeer[/caption] During a text message exchange with our crew leader Caroline I told her that she will have to use her instinct to gauge how we are looking as we enter the aid stations at Mile 50, 68, and 75.  If we are looking ragged then she needed to be forceful and tell us to sit back and not head out for a moment until we rehydrated and ate something.  Our mindset is that of competitors.  Get it done regardless of what may unfold.  Push yourself until the brink.  Run and if you end up in the med tent so be it.  That is where our mindset can be our liability.  This is not a sprint or a marathon.  This is a 100 mile endurance event.  We will be racing this course with as much mental strength as physical ability.  This is what excites me, but also scares the living crap out of me. There have been days over the course of the past 18 weeks of training where I thought to myself:  I got this.  No problem. It will hurt but there will be no stopping us once we get going.  In the past two weeks I have begun to question the physical ability to go from dark to light to dark again. To go from cold to warm to cold again.  To lasting 24 hours without a meal but instead consuming liquid calories and Oreos.  It seems overwhelming and daunting but then I am brought back to my imagination of the elation of crossing the finish line and high-fiving Jeff, Dave and Caroline and saying: We Did It.  That mindset is what will carry me through.

What Has Been Your Mindset Heading Into A Race? How Has It Changed During The Race?

TAGS: running , race , mindset
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Jason Bahamundi

About the Author:

I grew up in New York and lived there for 34 years until I got divorced and moved 1600 miles to my new home in Texas.  I love New York and miss it but that does not mean that Texas hasn’t been great to me because it has.  It was here that I discovered endurance sports and specifically the sport of triathlon.  Triathlon has given me new life through all the challenges it presents.  I no longer look at life the same way and I can say that is in part due to my endeavor into this sport.

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