Becoming a Mental Warrior – you can too!

I hit a mental and physical milestone this week! I ran the furthest I have run since Boston (10 months ago). And I did it by 7am.

I mentioned before that my upcoming European adventure is what helps me get out of the door these days, but 4:15am came pretttttty early Wednesday morning.

This is what my bathroom looks like before I go to bed most nights:

clothes

I try and get everything ready so I don’t wake up my boyfriend in the morning – but without fail he still wakes up  to make sure my clothing is bright enough and tells me to be safe and stick to the main streets (I look like a neon highlighter running up and down Yonge Street).

I always tell people training for a marathon is 90% mental. I truly believe it is. Leaving my apartment at 4:24am Wednesday morning to run 32km was a mental battle. As I was running along the deserted streets of TO (which is rare and why I prefer to run in the mornings), I realized, “Holy crap – I haven’t run this far since I hurt myself”. Which then got me thinking, “does my calf hurt right now? Is that pain I’m feeling?”

Cue me stopping to stretch out my calves at 5am at the corner of St Clair and Bathurst.

I spent a lot of time over-thinking my phantom calf pain on that run. But I finished 2 hours and 44 minutes later with my calf in tact. Phew.

Whether your goal is to run 1km, 32km or to make it to the gym, getting out the door is 3/4 of the battle. Something to keep in mind on the days you need that extra push:

workout

I made a shake (protein within 45 minutes of a workout is key), lied on the floor for 15 minutes, showered and was off to work. Happy Hump Day!

I feel like I have completed one mental test in my preparation for Rotterdam. 32km done. I’m now thinking of my long runs as ‘exam prep’. I have about eight to go before taper time. Eight pre-exams means two months full of carbs #winning.

FOOD!

During the week I usually eat the same things throughout the day. (Classic Type A personality). Weekends are for indulging – in everything.

My good friend Sarah Cruickshank is a fitness enthusiast, fashion guru and someone who makes your life better. Occasionally we spin together. On one such occasion she brought me one of her homemade Almond Butter Snack Balls. I demanded the recipe have been snacking on them ever since. Almond butter and dates are two of my favourite things in the world. These date balls are a great afternoon snack that will keep you feeling full for a while (or in my case after a 32km run, for an hour).

Almond Butter Snack Balls

  • 1/4 cup raw almonds
  • 2 cups Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (heaping) raw almond butter

Directions

  • Use a food processor or blender to grind raw almonds. Process until almonds become crumbs, but not flour-like.
  • Add in remaining ingredients and process until fully combined.
  • NOTE: My food processor is from the 1980’s and doesn’t like dates so I chop them by hand.
  • Press and shape mixture into balls.
  • Store in a sealed container in the fridge for several weeks.

dates

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