I stumbled across this fascinating New York Times article this morning. It's a quick read on the dramatic effect that the mind has on one's athletic performance. There's clearly a physiological aspect to distance running, but the psychological factor can be huge. How many times have you finished a race and realized that you probably could have pushed yourself harder, thereby ending up with a faster time? But what happened? Your mind got in the way. This happens to me in just about every race these days.
Anyway, this article discusses the benefits of mentally removing yourself from the running effort. In other words, focusing on something else...your shadow, a distant mountaintop, counting each step you take, etc. This approach apparently worked for Tibetan monks, who reportedly ran 300 miles in 30 hours (umm...that's an average pace of 6:00. Eek!). Maybe focusing on using the mind to improve my running performance should go on the list of resolutions for '08.