When I go for long runs, I usually have to dig deep to get through it. And I've discovered that running is just as much mental as it is physical. One thing that helps me clear my mind when my head hurts is to say little mantras. I have some phrases I go to here and there that help calm my breathing and settle my achy brain and keep me on the straight and narrow. I say them again and again to the rhythm of my running and before I know it, the rough patch has passed.
**I'll share mine with you because you might find them helpful - but most likely, you'll do better with your own.
run slow to run smooth. run smooth to run fast. I read this sentence in a book, or maybe it was an article, and I wish I could remember to give credit where credit is due. I love this. I love that I say it and then my body responds.
Run slow - my breathing elongates my shoulders relax. Run smooth - my feet hit the ground so lightly I can barely hear them. Run fast - before I know it, I'm gliding along faster than before and with ease.
i chose this. Life is full of difficulties that we have no control over... we don't pick them and we can't stop them. I think that's why I come back to this little sentence over and over agin. In running, I have control over what I'm doing. Sure, it's hard but I chose it and I know when it will end. Willingly entering into (a beneficial) difficulty is a whole other beast than what life usually throws at you. And when I repeat 'I chose this' it gives me back the power over my circumstances, and I have to say, I like power.
i've felt worse (and lived)... alternated with this feeling is fleeting. pain is not something you can recall. you can remember 'oh yes, I was in pain that time.' but you can't close your eyes and feel the actual pain again (which is why people have more than one child or tattoo). So the feeling will pass and that moment will be left on the road, it will not come back.
smile. you're ___ . When inhale I try to smile and check my posture and then on the exhale I try to relax and think of a reason to be grateful (sounds so new age but it works when you want to distract yourself). inhale smile exhale you're out in the fresh air. inhale smile exhale you're stronger than you realize. inhale smile exhale you're burning off a lot of cheese eating calories.... and so on
the only way out is through. One of the main reasons I run is to get healthier physically. In the short term its more painful, in the long term life will be less painful. I never wanted short-cuts (although there are times when a long, medically induced nap sounds amazing) - what I really want is to work my own way out of the forest. No one can do it for me. It can't be done without struggle. While not everyone reading this had debilitating headaches, many people have roadblocks to exercise or health (I just have a more motivating carrot in font of the horse - a pain free, healthy future). When working out gets truly discouraging, this one helps the most. There is no other road. The only way out is through
Runner's World has an article about running mantras here - you can read other people's inspirational chants and go through the guide to make up your own. (It was surprising how many hits the google of 'running mantra' supplied. Look at me, cheering myself on all these times, without knowing it was an official thing.)
I know that blogger is a pain when it comes to comments but if you have a mantra you want to add, feel free to try to persevere and share it (or text me, friends, because I have a long run this week)!