Sunday, January 25, 2009

Mental toughness - Do I Have It!

Today I experienced my first mental test of the new year. Do you think I succeeded or failed at the test?
You will have to wait until the end to find out. I seem to frequently ask myself what is mental toughness and how do I successfully increase my metal game. For that matter how do I measure my mental toughness. Is there such a measure? What is the test for mental toughness?
I sat down and thought of a short list

1. Success in extreme conditions

2. Physical tests of pain threshold

3. Ability to ignore your dog barking because it want to play
4. Ability to ignore in general
5. General torture tests - Like miles of cycling only to follow with a long run or riding in a car with your children for over 4 hrs - Are we there yet?
None of these seem to appealing at first glance. What do I measure myself against? Do I ask for volunteers at work to undergo trials? Maybe I could place an add in the paper for medical volunteers? No, that would not work, how will find a measure? Then it struck me I already have a measure of the strongest mental toughness I have ever read about. You know who I am talking about don't you?
Yes, it is "up In Alaska"
Read her iditarod challange summary from last year.
Unfortunately, this year was not so kind to Jill. She had to pull out after only 57 miles of the 350.
You can read this years story here
Now, how do I test my mental toughness? I am asking for suggestions from all 10 readers.
Last week I pulled a strong brick workout, I rode 40 miles at 20mph and 2,800 ft of climbing and then jumped off strait to a run of 9mi on the 9:00.
This week my big brick was 56mi and 2,700 ft climbing and then 6 mi run at 8:30
Does training like this build mental toughness???
When do I know I have it? You know the mental edge!

I know I have it! Why you say, well this week I am home alone and look below at what was at my house. Girl Scout cookies! Yes, Olivia is now a Junior Girl Scout. I am proud to say, I only ate one cookie. Now lucky for me, I did not find any tagalongs. That is a mental test I am not prepared for yet.

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