“You won’t be able to do it.”
“You were not meant to be fast.”
“You are mediocre.”
“Don’t be ashamed if you cross the finish line past the two-hour mark.”
So many negative and defeating thoughts have been racing through my mind the last couple of days over my upcoming half marathon that I have set out to run in under two hours. I’ve been trying really hard to not let said negative thoughts defeat me or affect my training. I’ve searched through my workouts over the last couple of months, looking for reassurance that I’ve come a long way since I started running late August of 2013. Nonetheless, I have to admit I am a woman of very little faith, and even physical proof at times is not enough to convince my mind what my spirit is capable of doing.
After completing the Riverton Half Marathon in Utah three weeks ago, I felt a boost of confidence crossing the finish line, but that waned pretty quickly. With three and a half weeks remaining, I’ve questioned whether I’ve put in the right training to get me there. Come to think of it, I’ve never felt prepared for any race I’ve ever run. The only way I would probably ever feel like I’ve put enough training is if I were to train like an Olympian; since I am not going to the Olympics any time soon (or ever) I’m not sure there would be a justification for such brutal regimen.
I genuinely do not want for a sub-2 half marathon to define my worth as a person, but I can’t help but want this badly. And as much as I would like to be grateful and content with all the fortunes I have been given (the freedom to believe and worship God without fear or reprisal, my health and the health of my children, a loving husband, a roof over my head, food and water, and so many more commodities I take for granted) the human part in me would be sad to not be able to attain my goal. I try to drown out the mental tug-of-war by visualizing a strong finish in which I’m proud of the fact I gave it my all.
Yesterday, I ran 12 miles in honor of the city of Boston after the terrible bombings that occurred during the Boston Marathon a year ago. I may not ever run the Boston Marathon, but I could always run in memory of the Boston Marathon. The twelve-mile run was tough, as I ventured out on a hilly trail. I’m not an adventurous person, so stepping outside of my comfort zone is always a big reward for me. I’m definitely planning on setting foot on that trail again.
On Monday, I did sprints, and again, I am very proud of the effort I have been putting into them. I’ve never done Sprints as part of my training, and I’ve made sure to incorporate them into my training this time around in order to become a stronger and faster runner. I’ve been doing Sprints regularly for the last eight weeks and even though I dreaded them for the first two weeks, I now look forward to them. There is rush of adrenaline that surges through my body when my muscles shifts from a slow walk to a full sprint. I did a mile warm up and then five 1/2 mile sprints (8.0 on treadmill) with 1/4 mile walks after each sprint. I walked off the treadmill drenched in sweat (which is something I really like because for some strange reason, I’m not someone who perspires heavily during workouts) and feeling so alive.
I’m planning on doing light strength training today and my friend Beth inspired me to see how long I can hold a plank (I was able to hold it for two minutes straight on Sunday night). Therefore, I will also be challenging myself to get a stronger core. And of course, I’m still working on my pull-ups.
Do you go into a race full of confidence about your training, or does your mind play tricks on you? Are Sprints part of your training?