Monday, January 10, 2011

Oh, Lulu! Why can't you learn?

I ran 10 miles Saturday. That's a lot of time to think and A LOT of time for LuLu to do her thing in my head. At about 9.5 miles, I started thinking back to when I started the run and decided to do this post. It's the chronology of the battle in my head during most of my long runs...

8:30 a.m. Husband tells me that he's taking the boys to Wal-Mart with him, and I can "do whatever." He says the fumes from my "attempt" to clean the oven are more than he can handle (Possibly another post later, but some advice: Read the manual before engaging the "self-cleaning" oven).

9:15 a.m. Boys dressed and out the door. 

9:16 a.m. Process of getting dressed for 35 degree weather begins. Pieces scattered throughout the house and a few out in the car. Enter LuLu. "It's really cold out there. You've already done 12 miles this week. Why don't you just go back to bed and enjoy the quiet time." Hmmph. I keep searching. 

9:20 a.m. Most of my gear is on. I sit down in the floor to stretch a bit. Enter LuLu. "You could just curl up on the couch now and go later. Maybe when it's a little warmer." Knowing my husband is leaving for a trip with the youth group in the afternoon, this is NOT an option. I continue to stretch and think about my route.

9:30 a.m. I'm out the door and in the driveway stretching when the wind picks up. Enter LuLu. "Wow! It's cold AND windy. This is going to be a rough run. Maybe you should take some time off from running altogether. You may burn out if you keep going at this pace." Did she seriously just suggest I quit running? Silly girl.

9:35 a.m. I start out walking up a hill to continue my stretching and warm-up. Enter LuLu. "You know, you could just walk today. Even though it's a scheduled long-run day...maybe just consider it cross-training? You'd be finished in 30 minutes and maybe still have time for a quick nap." Walk? You've got to be kidding me. Please go away, LuLu. I have miles to run.

9:40 a.m. I start my run. It's cold and windy, but the sun is shining and I have nothing but time and miles. Enter LuLu at about .5 miles. "Ok. Seriously? You're really going to do this today? I really think you need to consider some time off. Maybe knock off this long run stuff for a while. Just try to do 12-15 miles per week and then start training for another race later. Maybe when it's a little warmer? But, seriously, let's take some time off from this really long stuff. What do you say?" I say nothing. Zip my jacket up a little higher and keep running. 

9:50 a.m. Nike+ tells me "One mile completed." I'm finding a comfortable pace as I head out of our neighborhood and out onto the road. Hills ahead. Enter LuLu. "You're really slow on the hills. Maybe you should stick to flatter routes. Hilly routes are for 'real' runners." I run hard up the hill and focus on my breathing. I really dislike her sometimes.

10:00 a.m. Two miles down. Found my pace. Sun is shining and I'm planning out the rest of my route in my head. Knowing the Frostbite 1/2 marathon in Starkville is in two weeks, I'm trying to get in as many hills as possible to prepare. Enter LuLu. "Don't go that way. It's REALLY hilly. You could actually just turn right back into the neighborhood up here at 3 miles and call it good." I turn left and see the hills coming.

10:20 a.m. Two major hills behind me. Breathing is good. I feel great. Where's LuLu now? Probably back on the couch eating chips and taking that nap.

10:20-11:00 a.m. Run is amazing! Perfect layering to stay warm but not get hot. Running a route I haven't done in a while and loving it.

11:00 a.m. I'm about 8 miles down and approaching the two major hills again. Enter LuLu. "Seriously. You should turn left, do the little hill and then call it good."I turn right and maintain a 9-minute mile pace up them both. Take that, LuLu!

11:10 a.m. Nike+ tells me I've reached my goal of 9 miles. What? It's over? But I just started! I'll do 1 more mile...because I can.

I don't know what other runners go through mentally when they run, but this is pretty typically of every long run that I've ever done. LuLu doesn't seem to mind the shorter stuff, but man, does she object to the long runs.

My body doesn't hurt when I run (anymore)...but my mind can be brutal.


  1. Enjoyed your post!! I didn't know anyone else went through the "mental coaching" like me. Boy, it sure sounded a lot like my "Lulu". Now I've got to come up with a name for her. Great pushing through. It feels great to do an extra mile just because you can!! I love to do that, too.

  2. LuLu is BAD! Glad you conquered her. I am thankful that my Lulu is much more quiet and reserved, just rears her head occasionally. Sometimes she shows up before making it out the door, but once I get going, most of the's all good.