Run Focus – Bainbridge Island, WA – How not to do it

In the wake of our Tahoe experience I left for a few days with family in the Seattle area – Bainbridge Island. I was still recovering from the 16 total miles only days ago – more than two and a half times more than my longest run in the past 4 months. I was not specifically sore after a couple days but I did feel a bit sluggish and just worn out.

I went for a run with my brother, Jim (yes, the same one who comments on here from time to time). Early in the morning we ventured out for an “easy” run – about 5 miles. Nothing is flat on the island. only half a mile into the run and heading downhill – bantering back and forth as usual – my brother perks up and says “Well at least we have a downhill to loosen up on instead of an uphill.”

Feeling less than spiffy, I didn’t hesitate – in my grumpiest of intonations my response was “ya, it just means we’ll be heading uphill soon and hurting more than ever. Is nothing flat on this island?”

Jim looks at me and let me have it.

“Well, aren’t you little Miss Sunshine today!”

“Aren’t you the one who teaches this kind of thing?”

“What’s this, do as you say but not as you do …?”

“I’m going to call you Eeyore the rest of the day.”

“Go find your rose colored glasses and don’t come back until you find them!”

Ok, look, everyone has those moments. But, of course, when you espouse this stuff publicly you sure are a sitting duck when you don’t follow your own advice. He was right (which was a first). We joked about writing about it for the blog. It is a vivid example of how someone who teaches this stuff, even someone who only days before ran way beyond his physical condition would indicate and was mentally as tough as anyone in the race is susceptible to the very same distractors as everyone else; race or practice.

Mental toughness and the ability to stay focused on the “right” things is not easy. It is something that requires practice, diligence and persistence. So, let this be a lesson to everyone – stay with it, don’t give in, get back at it when you drift, take one step at a time and your goals will come to you.

And don’t read my brother’s comments to follow.


About Dean Hebert

I’m a mental game coach, author and speaker. I work with individual athletes, parents, coaches, and teams on sports performance enhancement. Beyond my academic post-graduate work in sports psychology - the psychology behind athlete performance – I am a certified Mental Games Coaching Professional (MGCP) and certified hypnotherapist. I’ve authored several books and hundreds of articles. “Coach, I didn’t run because…” (2008) is a seriously light-hearted look at making excuses not to workout and how to overcome them. “Focus for Fitness” (2009) and “Screw the Goals Give me the Donut” (2010) are two of my eBooks on mental game approaches for the everyday athlete. I wrote these because I believe that everyone can benefit from the powerful mental techniques that the world’s best athletes use. I have been cited in Runners World, Best Health magazine (CN), SWEAT Magazine, and the Washington Examiner amongst many other publications. I have been a featured mental games coach in Runner’s World and for the internationally acclaimed trail running resource - I also regularly appear on sports and fitness talk shows such as LTKFitness, Runnersroundtable and for more than three years I have co-hosted a weekly video series with Coach Joe English for I specialize in mental toughness training. My clients include tennis, synchronized swimming, golf, race-kart, soccer, motocross, volleyball, MMA, cycling (road, off-road, time-trialist), running, duathlon and triathlon, basketball, football and baseball athletes. I have coached world-class athletes and athletes internationally. I have a passion for working with youth athletes and helping them apply mental game skills and techniques to all areas of life. Most importantly, my aim is to have people enjoy sports and life to their fullest through peak performances.
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2 Responses to Run Focus – Bainbridge Island, WA – How not to do it

  1. chefsy says:

    You and your brother are so funny.. Now, I wanted to go over all your post and check what kind of comments he has been noting on your comment box 😛

    HI Coach! 🙂 I’ll be running a 5k this sunday and I’m pretty much psyched and nervous about it since i don’t (yet) finish 5k in 25 minutes unlike others who get to or even much less!

    As far as I have reviewed my running, I get to finish one approximately around 40 minutes? Yikes! I was away from running the entire week since I got sick plus the storm took my route! (hehe)

    I’m trying to rev up the iginition of my running. I just did 2 miles last night (strictly timed only 25 minutes) and for the first time I woke up early morning for an almost 2 miles ( I finished around 20 minutes, better!) route. I sure feel heavy and sluggish but I still kept on going.

    I’ll try to do doubles today which means I’ve got later tonight to see how my 2 miles is going to turn up in comparison to what I just did this morning and last night. 😡

    Any advice? Help! the 5k race is going to be this sunday!! 😡

  2. Chefsy,
    C’mon, you don’t really think you can do anything in the next 4-5 days? (I don’t have that magic pill created yet!) Go be fresh on race day and treat it like practice time trial… you just go for it. Use this as your jumping off point! If you do too much or too different of things in the next days you’ll only make your race day worse.
    Hang int here!
    Give it your best!

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