1 Week Out: Scaling The Wall

“Your body will want to quit – your mind will need to convince it not to.”

For anyone that has run a marathon, you are likely familiar with “the wall”. When I was training for my first marathon, I remember hitting my 20-milers on Saturday mornings and thinking, “the wall? Pshhht. I’ve definitely got 6.2 left in me!” And then on race day, even though I felt SO good the entire race, like I was going to absolutely smash my goal, sneaky-ass mile 24 punched me in the face, dropping me to my knees. My body just said, “Nope, we’re done.”  I remember the intensity of my disappointment and shame. How the hell did this happen? Why did my legs just stop working? I trained way too damn hard to quit this close to the end. To my dismay, I had no choice but to walk/jog the next two miles as best I could. And then, I remember being about a half mile out from the end. We’re talking 98% done with the race. My legs still refused to physically engage in a stride but my stubborn brain completely took over. Somehow, some way, I crossed the finish line at Autzen stadium (Go Ducks!?) that day running, not walking.

This week, the 2 weeks out mark, the week where you push the envelope for the last time, is just like “the wall” in the world of distance running. And boy, did I hit it hard. I woke up every day this morning with a torrential raincloud over my head that could have rivaled an Eeyore/PigPen hybrid. I couldn’t think straight. I didn’t smile much. I emotionally crumbled on the couch nightly. I could barely muster the motivation to climb the 16 stairs up to my bedroom at night let alone to tackle my workouts. And I can’t even blame it on a significant change in calories or carbs or even cardio because I was pretty similar to what I’ve been before with only minor changes. Honestly, there’s not much I can blame it on at all.  If anything’s to blame, it’s my attitude. I was letting the wall win. I was letting the wall be my excuse, my justification for how I was acting. While it’s no mystery that I’m fatigued, low energy and going through arguably one of the most difficult weeks of prep (depleting to prepare our bodies for the glorious carb-loading high that is peak week), I let my mind off the hook and was letting my body run the show. And as a result, I was miserable.

And then, early Friday morning during our daily check-in, my coach made a tweak to my routine that changed everything for me. Out of respect for my coach, I won’t share the details of WHAT she did, but I can tell you it made a complete 180 degree difference in a matter of hours.  No, she didn’t order me to eat a stack of pancakes or even take away my cardio. It’s actually quite funny because if you were to just look at the adjustment on paper, you might argue that the new change is a little tougher than what I had before. But because my coach really knows ME, Danielle, as a person and not just as another client, she knows EXACTLY what my body and my mind needs to perform at its best, even under the most strenuous of circumstances. And because of that, I feel like a completely different woman than I did all week. My body is still being challenged to infinity (and beyond!), but I’m in a much better position to combat the resistance.

There’s a snake in my boots. Somebody poisoned the waterhole! Reach for the…..  Anyone else have a hard time resisting following up one Toy Story quote with, like, 4 others? Forget Lays potato chips, bet you can’t say just ONE Toy Story quote.

Oh right, back to the serious, super insightful mind-power things….

To be very clear, I am NOT saying we shouldn’t listen to our bodies. We all know that would be an absurd, disillusioned, Trumpesque generalization to make (sorry not sorry for the political jab). What I am saying is that when we want something bad enough, we have to channel our minds to be our champions. And if capable, our bodies will listen. Our TRUE capacity of energy is all too often left untapped. We limit ourselves with our perceptions of what we THINK we can do.  When in reality, the lines we draw in the sand are often short of how far we can really go. When our bodies tell us we’ve reached our max, our minds/willpower/grit are strong enough to convert remaining stores of potential energy to kinetic, pushing us beyond our perceived limits. We just have to be willing to try. I had to remind myself of that over the last few days, and to my delight, it worked.

And now, this week’s stats:

  • Weight:122.6 lbs (no change from last week)
  • Training: 3x week with my coach
  • Cardio: 30min of hard cardio 5 days this week
  • Mood Rating(1-10, 10=BAMF): A few days ago? 3-4. Yea, I think I’ve already touched on that enough. Today? 10! My mental slump is over and now it’s officially PEAK WEEK!! The week we’ve been working so hard for! I am going to make a point to savor every day and sunbathe in the warm energy of anticipation! On Friday morning, I’ll be on stage! Woohoo!

6 days until the stage!! Just like past seasons, I will post video updates this week instead of my normal written posts. Why? Not only does video capture more animation and emotion than written word, it’s also a lot more convenient during the hectic task-filled agenda that is peak week. Stay tuned!!!

1 week out