A race always helps ease the mind. I've said it before, throwing in a short race to your schedule is great for racing mental health. It lets you know how your muscles recover and how well your head is in it.
I ran the Quadzilla 15k again this year and enjoyed it as much as last year. The weather was completely different and we had race morning temps already in the high 80's with 80% humidity. Despite that, I was able to get my mind a little more into it and dropped three minutes from my time last year. Although I enjoyed the drop in time and a finish in the top 20 women, I realized that I need to improve my mental running game. I let myself walk more hills than I should and I can rationalize it by thinking ahead to my week in training, to how many miles are left in the race, to not wanting to suffer too much....it all does me no good. If I am going to continue to pursue racing more competitively, I am going to need to learn how to race and how to let myself hurt.
I am still struggling with the mileage. I am averaging about 35 miles a week and although in general the running feels decent, I know I need to focus on getting my in. I need to sleep better and longer or those things are going to add up and kill the rest of my season. I know I have a good solid base under my legs, but getting the mileage, the sleep, the eating all under control lends itself to a much stronger mental edge before toeing any start line. I will start this next month recharged and focused on the mental side of things...getting my head back over my legs. I will work on my race binder for Oil Creek to keep my head in the long term plan.
I read that it's your legs that get you through the first half of a 100 miler and your head in the second. My head needs to get in the game as much as my legs. I am running into a new month with a stronger focus and plan of action. My legs and my head are racing together, so they damn well better get training together.