I made a big breakthrough last January when I learned to throw ninja stars with my mind. I’m not kidding.
My last track race had been back in April of 2004, the day I realized I was not going to make it the Olympic Trials because the pain in my foot was probably a stress fracture. I love the steeplechase, but at that moment I hated it for breaking my foot.
Fast forward almost eight years as I was getting ready to run my first track race since 2004, an indoor 5k. Twenty-five laps.
Most people would probably be freaking out, but I had the good fortune of be able to use my Believe I Am cues. I had been practicing them during my workouts, and had specifically trained myself to use my ninja stars.
I was a bit nervous, of course. I’m not a robot. Lauren Fleshman (yes, the pro runner who said “balls” on national TV) tweeted me a reminder to focus only on the things that I could control.
Since I started using my Believe I Am journal last December I’ve been able to focus better in races. It’s also nice to have the ability to reflect back on past training and races. One of my favorite features is that there is actual space for journaling, with tons of blank pages for your deepest thoughts and dreams.
And if you carry it with you everywhere you go like I do, you might just get Frank Shorter to autograph the cover (even if he spells your name wrong).
My goal for the next few months is to focus on strengthening my core and remaining injury-free. With only an eight week build-up before my marathon this December, the injury risk is very high. I’m going to use my Believe I Am journal to track my running and strength training and focus on writing about how I’m feeling to head off any potential injuries.
What do you use to mentally prepare yourself for big races? How do you deal with nerves? How do you keep track of your training… do you use a training journal?