On today’s 11 mile run I was focused on every aspect of my successful marathon experiences vs. the unsuccessful ones. The result being in the training before my Boston Qualifing marathons I was able to fight through fatigue. I would feel awful, but would resist the temptation to walk and keep thinking “once I am past this hill, things will get better”.
The body can do more than mind tells you from time to time and it is your job to override those thoughts to get where you desire to go. Training is as much mental training as it is physical development. The BQ goal can be lost week 1 of training if you are not focused on it from the day you start. That is not to say that one bad day will defeat you, but it is how you recover mentally from a bad experience and use that knowledge to not repeat mistakes.
Mental preparation is something that can be practiced at other times off the course. Driving to work, writing a running blog, a lifting session, etc are great opportunities to focus on your goals and train your brain to not except less. When I have failed, I wasn’t willing to fight poor mental feelings to reach my vision.
Be strong mentally and you will find your kick.