My guest post today comes from Kris who has been battling some frustrating injuries lately but still ran her second marathon (Chicago) in a very impressive time!
They say running is 90 percent mental, leaving only 10 percent for the physical aspect of running. This past year I have been plagued with injuries, which has caused me to put a lot of thought into this theory.
First, when people say they hate running- they’re kind of right. Your brain doesn’t want to you to run when you don’t have to; it wants to conserve your energy. And since we no longer need to run for food or transportation, your brain tells you to use the more efficient options.
But the fact is we really were born to run. Our body’s love it, need it, thrive on it. We just need to train our body, as well as our brain to run. I have done this, a non-runner who can now proudly say I am a marathoner. And I know that my greatest strength is my mind. What I lack in speed, I can make up with in sheer determination.
In fact, with my most recent marathon I finished only slightly behind my PR, running through plantar fasciitis that two cortisone shots could not fix. That feeling of crossing the line is so euphoric, contagious and addicting. I started planning my next marathon after finishing, despite the fact I had promised my body I would take a year off.
While my mind is still reeling from the event, my body has not recovered. A recent trip to the doctor told me that my plantars caused me to change my form, resulting in an ankle injury and costochondritis. (Which is basically a giant muscle spasm in my back making it hurt to breathe, lay down and bend over. It’s awful.)
Based on this, you would think I would be advocating that running IS more physical then mental. But the truth is that I’m where I’m at today because I refused to let my brain listen to my body. My body has told me to stop, but I was not mentally strong enough to let go of my dreams.
So here is my advice for every runner, novice to seasoned.
Run! Listen to your body, learn when you can push yourself and know when you must stop. Happy is the runner, who can still run.
What’s your take? Is running more physical, or mental?