For me the word “mental toughness” can mean so many things it’s not always about beligerance and being as stubborn as you can be …. although there is always room for that in there somewhere, its a lot more than that.
Being mentally tough is having the right combination of motivation and determination, those two elements combined together provide mental toughness – the ability to focus on the task ahead and to complete it when stopping or doing something else seems a better alternative. But mental toughness is also about recognising your situation and sometimes that can mean stopping, the times when you are injured and when continuing would cause longer term problems. Having the mental toughness and fortitude to stop at that point is something I have always admired just as much as the examples of those who carry on regardless.
Of course the judgement between an injury and “oh my god this hurts” is sometimes very hard to work out and when you are under stress and tired, even more so.
My motivation for this project is high and equally the level of determination is up there, so I should be mentally ready for the challenge ahead of me – injuries are part of sport, and I have had my fair share of them over the years, and what will be will be with injuries I am afraid.
The mental tests you face on a long run are there for everyone to experience … the joy of the the first 10km-20km and then the feelings of fatigue and “is this ever going to end” … and it is those feelings that I want to change, so that when that time comes, I won’t want to say that, I will have a more positive answer for it. The course at the Gin Pit has lots of “sector” opportunities, and by that I mean picking a landmark and aiming to get to it – it’s even easier for me as I know the area so well, so I will be practising getting to “that bridge” or to “that mill” or to “the end of that street” … all those little games that will help eat up the km’s.
Physically I will be strong enough and mentally I will be hugely strong enough this time ….. it’s all in the mind you see, all of it !!!!