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.