Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Badwater dreams

Do you remember as a kid when you were out playing in the yard, you'd come up with all these wild scenarios of glory? I remember imagining hitting the game winning home run in the bottom of the 9th in a tied game 7 of the World Series or imagining a last second touchdown toss, while you're being tackled as time expires in the Super Bowl.

To my female readers, if you never did this, believe me...every man you know did. Maybe girls do it too, but I don't often see my little 6 year old daughter pretending these things...I think she's probably dreaming about big weddings and prince charming and going to the ball. Maybe the Prom and Weddings are like the Super Bowl to little girls? I dunno, but I'm off topic..

You don't normally hear of a lot of American males dreaming about endurance running as a kid. Oh I'm sure it happens, but probably not much. Today, I found myself using this age old mind trick to get myself through my run.

As you know I've started my 16 week death march towards the Marine Corps Marathon. Today's run called for a 10 miler (yes...a 10 mile midweek run). Let me tell you that I cannot understate just how hot it was today. I know...everyone's dealing with it, but I think I wasn't ready mentally for it today. I snoozed twice and took my time getting out the door, meaning the sun was on its way up when I got outside.

The first five was misery, I just felt bad all over. By the time I looped back around to the house and got a little Gatorade, I was dragging.

Here's where the imagination kicks in.

I said to myself, "Imagine you are on mile 130 of the Badwater Ultra Marathon* and you're at the last aid station...you've got five miles to dig deep and get this done."

*Badwater is a 135 mile trek through Death Valley in the middle of July, and ends over 8000 feet up Mount Whitney. The race was held this week...hey if you're going to dream, dream big right?

A bit dramatic for an ordinary Wednesday run? Perhaps...but I really needed something today to get me through it. I kept saying this over and over in my mind through the last five miles..eagerly counting each one down as the sun beat down on me. I kept thinking that runners were going through 120+ degree temps at Badwater, and I was having trouble with 80 and 100% humidity. Thankfully I finished, but I wondered...do these kind of dreams/visualizations occur to other runners?  Maybe I just never grew up.

How about you...did you win the World Series today?

8 comments:

The Learning Curves Blogger said...

I totally relate to this post and the thought process. Although I mostly dreamed of winning a Gold medal in Equestrian sports and often fueled my runs with thoughts of Secretariat and Native Dancer...weird I know, but whatever works, right??

Now, on my long runs I imagine counting down the miles at the end of a marathon. I've only JUST become aware of the Badwater race and Death Valley is quite possibly my favorite place ever (so far) so I'm going to steal, I mean, borrow your inspiration!

Randy said...

Awesome Lynn..nice to meet you...steal away! Glad to have you aboard.

Anonymous said...

I loved this blog Randy !! I love watching the utube videos of Badwater for inspiration !! I guess the one of David Goggins is my favorite with the rock music . I also love the one of the 13 year old girl running JFK 50 miler . I've got video of us finishing up our 30 miler too .

Tiana said...

Ah.. you make me laugh. I have to admit I have those moments too. Although I am usually finishing my long run as Davila in Boston pushing myself towards the finish line. Although, I win in my fantasy.

It's funny the mind games we play as runners to keep on keeping on. Thanks for this honest and fun post.

As a tip, I found a great pre-run supplement that I use. Since I have started using it I feel great through all my runs. It has a lot of what Matt Fitzgerald talks about in his book Performance Nutrition for Runners (a MUST read for any runner). If you are interested I'll give you the info. :)

Randy said...

Bill, I would have loved to have run more on that 30 with you..that was a great day. I should think about how cold I was on the bike when I'm running in this heat..haha.

Randy said...

Tiana, good race on beating Desi! haha.

Adam said...

I have to think that at mile 130, I'd be so dilerious i'd be just thinking to myself "don't pooop your pants, don't poop your pants"

Randy said...

Adam...I find myself thinking that at mile 8 most of the time.