Catching up

Note to self: Stop mumbling the phrase:
"Embrace the pain, it will all be over soon." while in public.
   In the past month and a half I think I've raced three 5k's while prepping for "the big one" this weekend. Each time I went out, I went out with the singular goal of beating a particular time. (I've been chasing this goal for about six months, I think?) I would try to calm my mind, and remind myself over and over that it was all going to be over in just a few minutes, just embrace the pain. Embrace it!

   This is typically followed by a quick explanation to whoever might be standing behind me at the grocery store, that I had a race coming up soon and was trying to pump myself up.

   Race days came and went without hitting my goal time in any of the three events. For some reason I was having more trouble than ever dealing with my lung capacity, (or lack of) and anxiety while on the run. It seemed to be bleeding through from my races right into training runs; a horrible cycle that didn't seem to have any end in sight. However, I don't regard the races themselves as a total loss. I was able to learn a bit more of what worked for me, and identify some of the barriers I was having in running. I was also able to net a 3rd place overall, followed by a 2nd place overall the following weekend. Having never placed overall before, this was definitely a nice coup for me, but strangely felt like an empty win. Maybe I was setting myself up to be unhappy at race? Was I reaching for too much? Should I have ordered that extra burrito? The only question I knew the answer to for sure going into this week is that it is always ok to order that extra burrito.

   Earlier this week, doubtful over what might happen this weekend at Medoc, I looked over my training plan and saw it called for ten miles easy. Thinking that my runs couldn't get much worse than they have been as of late, I pulled on my running shoes and decided that I was going to forget about anything in the past, I couldn't change it. The future? Well it's not here yet, the only thing you can do is try to make good choices and build on it. The only thing that is, is right now. Refusing to look at my watch I instead played songs in my head, checked out the moon, noticed birds in flight, stray cats running across the road, in short all the things I had missed when I wasn't "present" on my run on so many other nights. I decided there was no point on dwelling on those things because the only thing you have immediate control over is the immediate present.

Unless you're this guy

 A bit of time passed and I let myself check my garmin to see how many miles I has done. 4 miles...ok, so....wait. What did that time say?!? Without realizing it I had inadvertently beaten my 5k goal by more than 30 seconds and felt fresh enough to keep that pace for at least a few more miles. I ran for another tenth of a mile just to make sure I had adequate mileage and speed to ensure my own personal victory. With 6 more miles of easy run to go, two things followed suit. The first being that I decided to stop my garmin as a "just in case" measure, given my particular brand of luck. The second was a full six minutes of this under a street light in a suburban neighborhood.

   Deciding to mindfully run the rest of the mileage slower, (it was an easy day) I finished up with a smile on my face, trying to stay "in the moment." After I got home I tried to look at the factors that led up to a great run. They included little sleep the night before, (probably not helpful) only consuming coffee and burritos that day up to the run, (don't see anything wrong there) and clearing my mind out while actually out there doing my thing.

  So what does it all mean, besides the fact that I can break it down with the best of the white boys?

1.That your training is important. Don't skip it, don't rest too much when you don't need it, push.

2. Rest when you need it. If you've got a coach, (or a good friend trying to help) listen to them.

Pushing my heart to the limit and seeing
 if it will go just a bit further
3. The top two are important, but the most important thing is to enjoy yourself. For some of us, that means pushing our body to the limit and then seeing if it will go just a bit further. For others it means enjoying their favorite recreational activity. And still others can't quite put their finger on what makes them love it so much, and thats ok. Because if you don't like it, why the hell are you doing it?

   For me, this run means one more very important thing: I'm becoming #MedocStrong, and I think I'm ready to set fire to the mountain. We're now a couple days away from the big show and I have this strange mixture of excitement, nervousness, and calm confidence brewing inside of me. It's really similar to a long ago prom night, I'm just hoping for similar results in overall time.

   As always, thanks for reading, and don't forget to check out Crazy People with Nice Shoes on facebook! (There's more to this than a sexy body and a blog.) And for this week, if you want to show some support for the race, go ahead and #hashtag it up on facebook and twitter. #MedocStrong #SetFireToTheMountain. I should have one more pre race blog up before the week is out, so be on the lookout. No matter if you're running the road, treadmill, mountain, dirt path, or track this weekend, enjoy your run, and stay strong.

The burrito is censored until the win


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