You wanna talk about mental toughness? I'll tell ya about mental toughness.
I'll tell ya about running uphill. Into 24 MPH wind. On the sand.
I'll tell ya about roads that I swear are changing pitch; when I run south, there's an incline, but by the time I get around to running north on the very same road, it's flat as a pancake.
I'll tell ya about a mile split that's a full minute and a half slower because I was running into the wind.
I'll tell ya about an internal oblique that felt like someone was wringing water out of a wet dishrag on the last two miles.
I'll tell ya about rounding the last corner, a mile left to go, and thinking, "I know this is going to hurt; I just have to keep going," then repeating that to myself for the next 10 minutes.
And I'll tell ya about the most grueling mental obstacle of all: deciding whether to eat or shower first when it's all done.
8-mile long run splits
3: 11:37 (this one against the south wind)
6: 10:08 (this one with the wind)
8: 9:50 (this one against the wind!)