I was thinking about the half marathon Suzie and Chelle are running this weekend and was curious about what your mental strategies are? You know, when the going gets tough and your body is tired physically, how do you manage to continue running? Are there games you play with yourself? Do you have friends or family jump in to run parts with you? What are your strategies for mentally running a distance race?
At Napa last year I broke down mentally. I should have played a game with myself, but instead I let the weather bog me down. I was miserable the entire second half of the marathon and couldn't think of much else except how cold I was, how the rain hadn't let up, how the wind was giving me a fierce beating, etc. I did chat it up (commiserate?) with another runner whom I kept passing and was passed by several times, but it wasn't really enough. In all, it wasn't good and there was no mental strategy employed.
Generally though, I do things like haiku as posted yesterday.
I also will pick people ahead of me and turn the race into "me against them". I then try to catch and pass that person. If successful, I pick another and another.
During the final miles of the Chicago Marathon, I recited the alphabet backwards naming animals that began with those letters. I did this aloud. Zebra, yak...