Runners Are Mental · 31 May 2013

I used to say that runners are mental. As in mentally deranged. Now, I realize that running is at least as much a mental challenge as a physical one.

The more I run, the more I realize that I can run faster and farther than I used to think I could. The more I realize that the body is an amazing machine that adapts to the workload we give it. The more I realize that my body responds well when I push it to what I think are its limits.

As I get in better shape, I find myself wondering what my physical limits are. How fast can I run? How far can I run? How long can I play basketball (or at least pretend to)? These questions are always on my mind.

I wonder what my limits are because when I am on the road, I think I am going about as fast as I did the week or month before, but when I check my time, I realize I was a little faster. I wonder because when I find myself thinking I can go no farther, I can just keep going if I stop thinking about quitting.

These little episodes are what make me buy the trite phrase that if we believe, we can achieve. They help me remember that I need to keep pushing myself both mentally and physically to be better than I was the day before. I might not always be able to run faster or farther or longer, but I can keep working on it. And I can keep believing.

I know there will be a limit to how far and fast I can run. I just keep realizing that like most challenges, running is mental as well as physical. Then again, maybe I am deranged. Maybe I have become like all runners, a bit mental.

© 2013 Michael T. Miyoshi

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