Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Imagine a Clean Kitchen

I know I haven't talked about it much lately, but I'm still working hard on mental training. A new technique I've been practicing is visualization. As I mentioned in my last post, I've had a rough week struggling through both my track workout and tempo run. In the past having two back to back bad workouts would really beat up my confidence.

Of course, I can't say that wasn't true going into my weekend runs. I was really nervous worrying I would biff my Saturday long tempo run. The goal was 10 @ 7:00 pace and I was going to be on my own for it. I recently borrowed an amazing book from the library, Running Within by Jerry Lynch. So far, I LOVE it!!! Both that book and the USOC mental training workbook I have suggest using visualization to achieve running goals. At first, I thought this just meant to use visualization to meet racing goals, but I now see how visualization can help me with my day-to-day running (and other aspects of my life as you shall see!)

Before the run I took 2 minutes and visualized the run. I pictured running the first mile in 7:15 and the second mile in 7:02 and then 6:57 for all the rest. I pictured looking at my garmin after the run to see my 6:59 average pace. Before I even started the run, this exercise calmed me down and removed a lot of anxiety about the run.

Then the crazy thing is that I pretty much ran just as I imagined! I ran 7:08; 7:05 and then 6:52-6:59 for all the rest of the miles. I felt relaxed and enjoyed the run a lot. When I finished I looked at my garmin to see the 6:58 average pace and felt triumphant that I successfully used visualization to achieve that small goal.

That evening I was tired after putting the kids to bed. I walked into my kitchen and saw a big mess. I didn't feel like dealing with it. But then I did something weird. I stood there and visualized a clean kitchen. I pictured a clear clean table, all the dishes washed and in the drying rack and clean counters. I pictured mrp waking up in the morning and happy to prepare and serve breakfast to the kids in the clean kitchen while I was out for my long run. And before I knew it I was busy cleaning the kitchen and feeling proud when I went to bed with that chore accomplished.


Janet Edwards said...

Would have been much better if you had awoke and mrp had cleaned the kitchen! Ha! (That would never ever happen in my world!)

All kidding aside, kudos to you and I may have to check out that book!

The Salty One said...

Ha! In his defense, mrp doesn't have trouble motivating himself to clean and do chores. That's all me! Definitely get the book. Other than cheesy early 90's running photos, it's awesome!