The Mental Run Wall: Conquering Running Obstacles

The mental run wall is real. It can rear its ugly head at many points during your running journey and is facing us right now. I’m focused on conquering running obstacles, but I definitely don’t love that mental running wall!


Diary of a Running Chick: June 4th, 2017

We must all first accept why we have a mental run wall in order to overcome it. Running obstacles won’t disappear without work. My current goal is to get back to where my running was pre-pregnancy. I used to run a nine minute mile on average. I’d run about five miles a day and normally six days a week. I’d have a longer run day where I’d run at least seven miles, and I’d push my pace at least once a week as well. Prior to getting pregnant, I wanted my average mile pace to be 8 and half minutes and I was working hard on it. Now I’m working to simply get back to where I was before. That’s my mental challenge!

The funny part is, I mentally feel as fast as before and I need to constantly remind myself that it takes time to get there. I’m okay with that. I’ve accepted this mental and physical challenge. My body went through so many changes over the past ten months and that is okay. My running dramatically slowed down accordingly. Now I have a big mental run wall to overcome, upping my pace and letting go so that I can achieve my new goals. These are running obstacles, not permanent barriers. They are meant to be conquered and overcome!

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There are a few key issues that we all need to embrace as we face our obstacles. Each day is going to be different. Some days I’ll go out running and run five minutes faster than the day before, but then the next day I’m back to being five minutes slower. That is fine. You ebb and flow and I know that the more consistently I run, the quicker my times will get.

Each run is unique. Sometimes I’m running with a stroller and sometimes I’m not. Since I often run with my man, I have the luxury of not always running with our baby. My man runs with her instead! Those are the runs where I can easily break past my mental wall. Yet, some days I forget. I’m just glad to be feeling free on my run, but really, these runs are perfect to push my body to the limits. I don’t have to worry about my baby, since my man has her. I can be running much faster and closer to my pre-pregnancy times. But again I’m being hard on myself, and that’s part of this mental wall.

Some days the soreness and tiredness of pregnancy/having a baby creeps in. When this happens I remind myself that my run is less than an hour of my day and I need to push myself. I will feel amazing after. Reminding myself of this creates a positive experience and pushing my legs is easy! I know I’m breaking past that mental run wall, even if I’m not completely free of it yet.


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Running obstacles and your mental wall can change and evolve throughout the process. The run wall that’s up when I’m running with a stroller can be intense. I’ve been running with my baby for a few weeks now. I feel confident controlling the stroller and running with her, but it’s definitely mentally harder for me to run and push my pace. I know I’m pushing a weight while running, but that doesn’t make my slower speed easier to accept. It just means that as I push against the mental wall, it will be even more satisfying once I’m able to up my pace and the wall is gone!

My mental run wall is on two fronts and that is fine. Challenges are never simple and running obstacles are dynamic. I know mine is there and I know that I’m conquering it. I’ve accepted that I have to work past it and once I get there, it will be so satisfying. Every run where I work on it is a success and I keep reminding myself of that! It’s my motivation, because every run is helping me grow as a runner! I love that.



Mandi Mellen is Lead Editor, Staff Writer, and Featured Vlogger at BuzzChomp. She’s an actress, writer, and producer. Get lost in her youtube comedy channel PillowTalk TV. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or Instagram



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