Interesting observation....last night when I was around mile 8 in a 13-mile run, I really began to fatigue. I was
feeling every foot landing as if my feet were cement blocks. So, I began to coach myself telling myself what I tell my runners... to look up and out, not down. Engage your core. Shoulders back. Work the lean.
While looking up, I noticed some thick fancy concrete posts with wrought iron fence in between the posts that line the front of a swanky neighborhood on the route I was running. I was curious. How many posts were there? Funny what you think of when delirium kicks in. I started counting the posts as I passed. (There are a lot of them.) Before this point, my body was giving into the fatigue slowing me to a 9:20 pace. Funny thing happened however, after counting the last concrete post, I glanced at my GPS. My pace had dropped to 8:17 and didn't even really realize it. I had shifted my focus from my concrete feet to the concrete posts.
Take away from this for me is that sometimes when we fatigue during a run, the "woe is me" factor may be slowing us down more than the actual fatigue. My head had bought into the fatigue hook, line, and sinker. Yes, I was fatigued. I was needing hydration. But I wasn't as bad as my head was telling me. Mile 9 averaged out 14 seconds faster per mile than miles 7 and 8.
So, use those external distractions to avoid being sucked into the "woe is me" vortex. Look around, take in your surroundings. Better yet, run with a buddy. Conversation is one of he best distractions. Or if you're hard up for a distraction...count concrete posts. Worked for me!