Friday, February 11, 2011

The Voice From Within. And Guess What?

I've written a lot about the mind of a runner lately and the mental, emotional, and reflective aspects of running.  I've posted about:
* The Mind of a Runner...What you think about when you run 
*  Creating Running Journals to inspire, motivate and reflect 
*  What you tell yourself to get yourself through the toughest of workouts and how we feel when we've pushed ourselves
* Why We Train and things that get us motivated, inspired and pumped up!

I believe that the mind is more powerful than we can even begin to comprehend.  As an athlete, I'm constantly working to stay mentally focused on my goals and dreams.  I'm doing what I can to believe in myself as a runner, visualize myself doing great things and having the right mental focus to push myself to new heights in my workouts and races.

Recently, as most of you know, I've started a running journal.  It is a place for me to record my goals, workouts, reflections, highs, lows, pictures that inspire and motivate me, photographs, racing stories, things I eat and how they affect my performance, etc.  It  has already become a powerful piece to my training and it serves a wonderful purpose for my personality and thinking style. I LOVE IT!

 During my workout today, the coolest thing happened and I wasn't aware of how awesome it was until I was finished with my run.  In the middle of my 5 miles I was trying to hold on to around a 7 or low 7 min mile pace for a couple of miles.  This pace, in addition to pushing myself for 2 min fartleks at around 6:18-6:30 pace, was definitely making me work.  On my last mile, I stuck with a 7:15-7:30 pace even though I was tired and just wanted to stop.  With about a quarter mile to go, I realized that my voice from within was repeating a power phrase over and over.  In fact, I might have been almost whispering it.  I was so focused on keeping my pace that I must have been repeating the phrase for awhile.  This was mantra for today:

"It's gotta get harder before it gets easier!"

I guess the coolest thing about this is that my inner runner voice was giving me just what I needed to hear!  When I finally heard myself, I felt strong and capable.  I believed in myself and knew that I was right.  In order for 7 min mile pace to feel like my base pace again, I need to spend more time running 7's and sub 7's for longer periods of time.  My workouts will get harder before this pace can seem easier!   I Believe!  Love the Power of a good Mantra!  This will be a great one to get me through my training!

I really think that these motivational collages I made from my Athleta catalog are serving a wonderful purpose too.

Last night at the gym, I was visualizing strength, focus, and determination to go along with strong arms to get me to muster up enough courage to do some pull ups.  I used to do pull ups all the time.  I had no reservations about getting up there with the men at the gym and doing 7 or 8 proper pull ups but since having kids, I've been kind of shy about the whole thing.  Besides the occasional attempt on the monkey bars at the park, I usually don't do them.  But I had my journal with me at the gym and I was jotting down my stats from my run and I saw these pictures.  I got myself up there and did 4 strong pull ups!  Hoping to get back to 7 or 8 and then 10 by the end of the summer!  

Oh, and Guess What?

Yes, that's right!  My BFF Jenny (in the picture with me above from Hood To Coast 2002) called me up and asked if my husband and I would want to be on a Hood To Coast Team with her and her husband and some of their family!  Uh, YES!  This is the first year since kids that I've wanted to do this race again.  My last time was in 2004 when I was just pregnant with my firstborn.  Since then, sleep has been WAY TOO PRECIOUS.  Even Hood To Coast didn't sound good if it meant giving up sleep.  I'm so excited for this year!

Happy Valentine's Weekend!  My husband and I get a date tomorrow night to go over to a friend's house and then we have a babysitter planned for Monday night!  

What are you doing this weekend or for Valentine's?  

Please share creative date ideas if you have any.  I'm wanting to plan something simple, inexpensive but special for my husband on Monday!  I would love some inspiration!

P.S:  As many of you know, I am very supportive of chiropractic care and how it can greatly help you as a runner.  I'm also a fan of supporting my friends and my friend Dr. Nicole Murphy is the owner of Whole Life Chiropractic.  If you are in the Kansas City area or even if you are not, please consider becoming a facebook fan of Whole Life Chiropractic or going for a visit if you live near.  Check it out:  Whole Life Chiropractic. Thank you!



  1. Super cool about the Hood to Coast! A relay sounds like a ton of fun... and that route will be pretty. I used to go to Mt. Hood and the coast with my dad when I was a kid.

    Yes! to that mantra! Harder before easier! That's a great one to get in mind. One thing that I used to tell myself (and will again when the workouts get more challenging) is this... "it's going to hurt, push through the pain and get to the other side FAST." Often it's the anticipation of the hurting that slows us down.

    This weekend my husband is out of town. And I'll be doing my long run on VDay evening when he is back to watch the kids. How exciting is that? Hopefully, the endorphins I'll be riding after will assist in making for some connubial bliss later ;-)

  2. So excited for your relay. I love the running journal idea!!! I didn't know you are in KC. We are thinking of going there for spring break! I heard it is a fun place for kids.

  3. Great news about Hood to Coast! Although I've never done one, relays always sound like a ton of fun.

  4. Hood to Coast so exciting. that is on my running bucket list! I also loved your mantra, i had a similiar feeling / mantra on the TM this morning. I didn't have any knee or hip pain though and I just kept reminding myself of this.
    I wish that I had some good Valentine's ideas, but I am all out right now. It sounds like you are going to have fun though!

  5. My goal this week is to buy myself a journal! Hubs and I are going to the Melting Pot, just got tax refund. We are going with a younger couple, the woman I've kind of become a mentor to.

  6. We are very alike with our running pace :) I've been working on running 7 min pace as much as possible (and sometimes faster, so that 7 feels easier)

    I'm still working on my first pull-up!! I've never been able to do one, but I'm closer now than I've ever been. I can feel it coming soon :D I can't lie, I'm envious of your 4 pull-ups.

    Yayyy on the Hood to Coast news!! That's awesome!

  7. Very exciting news about Hood to Coast! That's on my bucket list! And go you with the pull ups... very inspiring!

  8. Amanda, were you blogging late on Friday night? Again?

    My mantra:

    We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.

  9. The voices in my head while running should be saying things like yours but mine kept saying "after your run you can have a cheeseburger." I didn't listen (but the day is still young).

  10. So much mental stuff involved in this running adventure! My tempo run on Thursday was so MENTAL...but I had a break through and it felt like the best run I've had, ever.
    I hope you have a fun date night. I'm still LOST and confused about what to do with my hubby on Monday. I really need to take control and not leave it up to him like I do every year! Hmmm...better get thinking. Thanks for the reminder!

  11. You are so motivating! The Hood to Coast thing sounds awesome. I had never heard about it until I entered the blog world.
    Hope you have a great weekend with your husband!

  12. Mantras do it for me every time. I used about 5 different ones in the marathon. Repeat, repeat, repeat until you believe.

    Yes! So excited you are doing Hood to Coast again! That way I can live vicariously through you! Wahoo. Sounds like a fabulous weekend with the husband. :)

  13. Hood to Coast!!!!!! lucky lady!!! After seeing the movie that is my dream to do that race!
    Very happy for you dear!!!!

    I am also guilty of blogging on Friday nights...and I read blogs..

    Valentine's I am also looking for ideas..! the clock is ticking...ayaye...

  14. I am looking for a good chiro, too bad I am so far away...I need to see one. Lookig for one that treats active people, runners would be the best of course, I got fibromyalgia and the Dr said I should see a chiro or a PT, that I need to try one of the 2 and see what works best for me. That was 5 weeks ago...paperwork still on my desk...dont have the time for this..don't know why..oh yes the 2 little guys under 6 that are living in my house that is why!!! will go check her facebook!

  15. Yes, Chris, Late Friday night blogging for me..I know, lameo. And i don't live in Kansas City guys. ;) My good friend has her chiropractic business there! :)

  16. I love the new mantra! Very nice!! So cool about Hood to Coast!

    For Valentine's Day my spouse surprised me with Bruins v Maple Leafs tickets... I've always wanted to go and luckily it landed on Feb 15. So yay!

    As far as a creative date... that's a tough one... wish I had some ideas for you! Good luck!

  17. can't wait to hear all about Hood to Coast! wanted to try to go see the movie--think they're doing some special showings around here in the next week or so. will def check out Nikki's chiro business!

  18. wow, what an amazing experience. And i am so thankful to have your blog. It encourages me daily!

  19. LOVE that mantra--what a great one. And you go for your 10 pull-ups, studly one!

  20. Yes! I so needed to read this post! I have my magazines and journal ready to cut-out and create with you as my inspiration!!

    So cool you are doing Hood to Coast! YAY!! I'm not too far from you if your team needs another runner!!

  21. That running journal is soo neat. I have always kept a binder of my running years with my logs, workouts, and race information, but that just seems so much more interesting to look through.

  22. Your fartlek workout is inspiring! I need to take a 'page' out of your faster workouts and add some into my own! It's so much easier to stay at that 'comfortable' pace, but you'll never get 'better' doing that!

    Great job!

  23. Love that mantra! I'm going to add it to my rotation :)

  24. what a great motivator you are! I needed to hear that!

  25. I'm super impressed by your pull-ups, I can barely do one! Superstar :)

  26. how did your 6 miler go today? i would get so speedy if i could train with you!
    i definitely need to try some pull ups. i remember having to do pull ups in middle school as part of the fitness eval. i would always hope and pray myself through 1. i'm pretty sure it scarred me from ever trying to do another pull up in public ever again, but i might be brave enough to try one now!

  27. H2C has always been top of my relay list, so cool you're going back this year. Last year I actually got asked to do it but I had to turn them down for financial reasons and because it coincided with another I do here in CO (Colorado Outward Bound relay)...turns out, I couldn't even do that one as I was in my running hiatus then. Whaa!

    I remember training for St. George, which is a big downhill marathon, and I persued the knowledge of my friend, Maureen Roben (google her, she was an amazing marathoner)for words of wisdown and how to run the downhills. She got with me one afternoon and we worked on really really quick feet and she told me to say, "Short, sweet, light on my feet." I must have said that 500 times during the race. And it worked. :)

  28. I am SO jealous that you get to run H2C, I grew up in Portland and have always wanted to run it. I lived near the springwater trail (where H2C runs) and ran many miles on that trail.

  29. I really like your mantra. If you don't mind I will steal it. If you do mind I will steal it anyway and not tell you.

  30. I like your mantra and the idea of a running journal.
    Happy St. Valentine's day; here a dinner with my wife in a restaurant.
    Please say "hi" for me to your husband. We played the same beautiful sport: rugby. I don't have wounds but I had the rib (40 y.o. - old rugby series) and the wrist (20 y.o. - 3rd series) fractured.

  31. So exciting about Hood to Coast! It's definitely on my racing bucket list.

    I'm teaching Monday evening, but instead of staying up near school that night (I have a 2-hour commute so usually crash in North Jersey Monday nights since I teach again Tuesday), I'm coming home and my husband and I are meeting at a bookstore near our house for a low-key date. We met at a bookstore five years (and two weeks!) ago, so it's always a fun place to return :)

  32. Ahh-good mantra! Great run too! I love your journal. Makes me want to get more specific with mine. Especially now that I'm looking back to last year at this time and trying to compare. I love the Athleta model with the blue shorts-Ripped!!

    Hood to Coast! How fun! My hubby and I were supposed to do a Ragnar relay last August. I was on crutches but it would have been so fun!

    OK-so I'm afraid to see how many pullups I can do right now. I haven't done them in A LONG time. I used to knock out tons of pushups and pullups. I would be VERY lucky to do 4 at this point. See, you're inspiring me to pick that up again!!

    Hope you had a great date last night! We are going out to dinner on Monday. Nothing creative about that! Still looking forward to it though. Have a great Sunday:)

  33. Wow hood to coast sounds awesome!!!! I'm so jealous!! :)

  34. Amanda,
    Thanks for the link to Whole Life Chiropractic! I will check them out on Facebook and definitely keep them in mind if anything comes up. They have great hours! Thanks again! :)

  35. amanda I love the journal!! I do things like that all the time, but putting it in a single place is genius.

    Agreed on the chiropractor, love it and wohooo for hood to coast!

  36. NICE..Hood to Coast looks like a blast. My V-Day weekend included a breakfast date out with my sweetheart. It was awesome.

  37. Yay for hood to coast! i've never done it but WILL someday! :) the bummer is my husband's birthday is always the weekend of h2c and I hate to ditch him with the kids on his birthday weekend.