Training update

Last night, I ran the final workout in my Couch to 5K training program. It was an easy, 30 minute run on the treadmill—quite a difference from what awaits me tomorrow morning.

I made the mistake of doing a trial run on the actual 5K course last week. It went about as well as could be expected for a course nicknamed the “prairie punisher.” Between the hills and the heat, I struggled during the last half, walking quite a bit in order to finish. It took me more than 45 minutes, and was actually harder mentally than physically. And now, having that failure in my mind makes this Saturday that much more daunting.

But, I came home, rested a couple of days, then ran 3.2 miles on my treadmill. There were no hills—not even an incline—and no heat (in fact, I had a fan, and an air conditioned basement). But, in one respect, I’ve met the goal of the training program. It just won’t feel that way, though, unless I can run the entire distance tomorrow.

I picked up my race packet last night, and for the first time, I felt truly nervous. I stood next to actual athletes who intend to run a 5K, bike for 30K, and then run another 5K, just for fun. And here I am, agonizing over what’s basically a warm-up run. It was humbling and a bit demoralizing.

And therein lies the real problem.

I am realizing that while the training program prepared me from an endurance perspective, I still have a lot of work to do within my own head. I spent some time yesterday reading about the mental game behind running, and I found that some runners use mantras to push themselves. I don’t think I could memorize a quotation by Gandhi and use it effectively, but one “mantra” stood out to me:  “Just keep running, just keep running, just keep running…” a play on the “just keep swimming” line from Finding Nemo.  It’s no wonder that one appeals to me—go with what you know, I suppose.

I run at 7 am tomorrow. Here’s hoping…

4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Gramma Great on July 23, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Way to go! Regardless of where you end up, you’ve stuck it out and accomplished a lot. We’ll be sending good vibes for #86 in the morning!

  2. Posted by Laura on July 23, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    Well put, Martha Ann! Congratulations on all the hard work you’ve already put in, Rebecca. Sticking things like this out is such an achievement in and of itself–be proud of yourself regardless of what happens tomorrow. But good luck indeed; we’ll be thinking of you, too!

  3. Posted by Karyl on July 23, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    We will be waiting to hear how you finish! Congratulations for sticking to this – I don’t have the discipline to stay on any kind of program that involves physical torture.

  4. Posted by jsmith425 on July 23, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    Way to go Rebecca. I am so proud of you!

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