Marathon Psyching Series: 4. What to say when talking to yourself

Leave the first response April 28, 2007 / Posted in Psyching Series

Your Words and Images Create Your Reality
© 1998 Austin “Ozzie” Gontang, Ph.D. & Int’l Assoc. of Marathoners™

Here is some sharing so that you can decrease the stress in your thinking. Already as you read this you are finding that your shoulders are relaxing and that you find it easier to take a deeper breath because you’ve relaxed the tension in your diaphragm and within the rib cage.

Feel you jaw relax and also feel that your eyes relax and that as you continue to read it is as if the picture is being seen from the back of your eye and your eyes aren’t having to go out and capture the words you read. Shoulders, neck relax. Breath is easy and calm. Now as I was going to say: When people are running long and getting tired, their form and style deteriorate. When that happens the tendency is:

1. They let their erect posture slouch while I run erect and relaxed 2. They drop their head while I use a sky hook in my head to hold me erect 3. They hunch forward while I stay relaxed and in good posture 4. They shuffle along while I focus on grace, and maintaining good form & style

When this above “stuff” happens, the fear of falling unconsciously has a profound effect on them…as their spirit is falling. I use balance and gravity to keep me falling gracefully in the the direction of the finish line.

The tendency is to claw with the toes. To see what I mean, stand up and lean as far forward as you can. You’ll notice that your toes are digging into the floor or into the sole of the shoe you are wearing.

If you relaxed your toes, you’d find that you would fall.

So when running or walking your marathon, check ever mile verbally with
1. Relax toes
2. Hook in the top of the head keeping the head and body erect
3. Say to yourself:
•Relax shoulders
•Relax jaw
•Relax eyes….as squinting can cause great mental discomfort

Since you are in a trance from mile 16 or 17 use these as a mantra from time to time to breathe and keep you focused on staying erect, focused, balanced and lightly running or walking over the surface of the earth as you run or walk.

In that trance, contine to bring your mind back to the body…and relaxing the shoulders, jaw, eyes and keeping the eyes at infinity/horizon

All unnecessary tightness means muscles are tightened and draining energy you need for your marathon. Another reason for focusing on your breathe as you run or walk along.

When you mind goes to the finish line and wanting to finish….bring the mind back to your body and focus on the stuff above.

Remember if your mind goes to the finish line…it has abandoned your body to do the last 5 or 6 miles alone….and that’s not good. Bring the mind back to the present….breathing….relaxing shounders, jaw, eyes…eyes on the horizon…and relaxing toes….relaxing toes.

Simply the marathon is lifting your feet up and done and leaning the body for 26.2 miles. The body is like the broom balanced in the palm of your hand. As the broom leans every so slightly, your hand goes at the same speed so that the broom won’t fall.

Eyes on the horizon.

Notice that by the time you’ve gotten to reading this your posture has slouched. So use the hook in the top of your head to lift you and use a mental air pump to pump up your spine and relax you stomach muscles and align your spine so you can sit erect and relaxed. Erect and Relaxed. Erect and Relaxed. Eyes on the horizon.

These are some ideas created for the Super Four Support Team by the Int’l Assoc of Marathoners and are used by the Psyching Team to help those who finished over four hours…because that was where they were….or because they crashed and burned.
You have been touched by the spirit of Marathon. It tests you to see where you are in your life. It challenges you to do what you thought impossible. It calls you to bear witness in public of an inner journey known only to yourself.

Remember the words you choose are the words you live. Choose your words well. For your words worth depends on your ability to understand: Reality always wins. Our only job is to get in touch with it. You will visit with yourself for 26.2 miles. Be present. For your presence with yourself is the best gift you’ll receive no matter the reason you are doing your marathon.

In health and on the run,
Ozzie Gontang

Maintainer – rec.running FAQ
Director, San Diego Marathon Clinic, est. 1975

Mindful Running:

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