So it’s been a couple weeks since I made my declaration to run a half marathon this year. And I haven’t made too much progress toward that goal like I had said I was going to…
Then I got a very timely email from a local running store, Charm City Run, that was advertising their training running groups. One of these training groups was targeted for a 10k taking place on June 4th. I figured this was perfect. If I complete this 10k, then I can start the training for a half marathon I want to do in October.
I figured the Universe was trying to send me a message, so I signed up for the training group! It’s a seven week training program, that includes a dedicated coach, training plan, group support, two training runs per week, nutrition advice, gait analysis and shoe recommendations, the whole nine yards.
While I have loved my online (and text) support group over the winter months, I have realized that I do really miss having teammates that are physically present during a workout. The more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve realized how similar rowing and running are. To me, rowing is the epitome of a team sport – you must work together perfectly to excel; but it is also extremely challenging mentally on an individual level. The past couple of weeks, I have found that same mental challenge while running. I have been struggling to get over this wall that says “you can’t run more than a 5k.” I reach the 3 mile mark, and my brain goes, “okay, that’s enough. You’re too tired to keep going.” Today, I actually pushed myself to do 4 miles, and I got into the zone, that by 3 miles, I had actually found my stride. At that point I heard my running app tell me that I was getting FASTER with every mile, and I knew I wanted to push it even further and make my last mile the fastest one. I was amazed at how good it felt to keep going. Then I hit an AWFUL head wind and was struggling in the last half mile home. I kept up the pace and my last mile was the fastest, but the toughest mentally. Excuses like, “but the wind is slowing me down” or “my legs feel heavy and tired” or “but I already run further than I have before” kept flashing through my head. As I got closer, and once I knew I had less than 3 or 4 minutes left, the song “Wild Ones” by Flo Rida and Sia came on and I starting sprinting. Nothing like a great playlist to get you amped up, even in the last few minutes.
Even given the great playlist, I can’t imagine how much easier it would have been to keep going or to go even faster or further if I had someone right next to me, pushing just as hard.
How many of you out there are runners? What do you do to keep motivated while running? Any running fitness goals you’ve set for this year?