Wednesday, March 13, 2013

weightloss wednesdays: lyon's favorite word

remember when i said i'd explain the word 'mettle'? back in college one of my favorite and scariest professors had a favorite word - mettle. he tried to work it in in every conversation, quite annoying actually. he taught sports conditioning so mettle, or metal toughness, came up pretty often. i never understood what he was talking about until now.

i have a fragile mental state of mind when i exercise solo. when i run, i am thinking about my aching feet, my straining calves, my bouncing boobs [i just got a fancy new sports bra that is supposed to keep those babies in check, thank goodness. i'll keep you posted], the sweat slowly accumulating all over my body, or the beats coming from my headphones. seriously, i cannot seem to zone out, which is key to running. i can zone during lifting, i can zone during a class but not when i'm by myself. give me a ball and i can play a team sport but this solo stuff is tough. 

lynn jennings said that 'mental will is a muscle that needs exercise, like the muscles of the body'. here are some suggestions that help you [and more importantly me, because i am writing this more for my benefit]

1- have a goal that you can achieve and work towards it. for me, running a 5k is a good enough goal. at other times, it's running 2 miles at a time or reaching a certain tree in the distance. maybe it's trying something that you hate/haven't done before. achieve something that seems out of reach.

2- break up your goal into segments. i measure my runs by how many songs it takes to reach a mile, usually 4. i try to not look at my phone/treadmill screen until it's been 4 songs.

3- push then take a break. i don't run 3 miles every week. usually the most i do is 2 then 3 on occasion.  [but i go about 5-6 days a week]. i take off days where i walk on a steep incline then run a half of a mile. other times i run a half a mile at a time. your body and your mind need a break from extreme stress.

4- focus on something externally. usually on the treadmill i'll find a spot on the back wall and just stare. it's when i start looking at everything around me or on the tv that i start feeling the need to stop. it's a rare occasion that i start thinking a thought and forget i'm running. but the goal is to start doing that more often then not. but check in every once in a while internally- listen to the sound your feet make, notice your patterned breathing, the swing of your arms, or even mentally visualize the muscles you're using.

5- visualize the end goal - how happy you'll be come 3pm knowing that you exercised that day, how great it will feel to fit in those pre-baby jeans, being able to run farther and faster then you've previously done.

today as i drove home i saw some high school track boys running along the road and noticed they did it sans-music. how in the world do they do that? mettle. i remember in lacrosse when we'd have to run maybe less then half a mile and i thought i'd die without music. maybe one day i'll be tough enough to run without music. but that day is not today. or tomorrow.

so what's your fitness goal for the week? for me, it's running 2 miles straight again. it's been a while since i've pushed myself so i'm ready to achieve something.
*that and stop eating those dang sweets! still haven't achieved that yet
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1 comment:

Caitlin said...

I don't know if it is the weather or what, but I got super excited to run hard again. Unfortunately, I think it is going to have to wait until fall, post baby. So then when that happens, I can remember these to push myself and zone out.

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