I spent today's run talking positively to myself to counteract all the negative thoughts going through my head. Sharon is away backpacking this weekend so I was on my own for my last long run before I tapered for Mt Hood. Last weekend I did two back to back runs that totaled 35 miles, but felt I needed another single long run. I was hoping to go over 30, but as the weekend approached I was really dreading it. Ever since I returned from FL, I haven't been feeling that great about my training. And I was starting to think that time was running out and I hadn't done enough.
The alarm went off this morning at 5 am and I grudgingly got up. I was still tired and coffee didn't help much. I took my time getting ready and arrived at Forest Park at about 6:30. I normally prefer my Nathan hydration pack, but since I'd need more than 2 liters, I carried my Gregory pack that can hold up to 120 oz. As I was strapping it on, it was twisted and I absentmindedly hooked one chest strap into one waist strap. Well wouldn't you know that the clips aren't the same size and I had jammed it so it wouldn't unclip. Dumb runner! What an excuse for canceling a run....trapped in a hydration pack! Fortunately I soon discovered that I could still tighten it such that it wasn't perfect, but stayed on and didn't bounce too much.
But the first few miles I couldn't get over the dumb runner mentality and all I could think about was everything I had done wrong in my training and how bad this run was going to be....and how dumb I was to clip a waist strap to a chest strap! I finally decided that if I was going to get through this run I needed an attitude adjustment NOW! So I literally told myself over and over again that I was NOT a dumb runner. And I gave myself permission to walk all the hills (meager as they were) if I wanted to and to just generally enjoy myself.
I don't run with music so I had 5-1/2 hours with my thoughts. I thought a lot about strategy and how I want to feel during the race. I think I've decided on a mantra: Pain is inevitable, Suffering is optional. I have no illusions that it won't be painful. But how I deal with that pain is up to me. By the time I was done with my 29 miles I felt a lot better about myself.