have you ever signed up for a race and then all of a sudden, it’s a week away and you haven’t put in the training you needed…for one reason or another?
i mean life happens, right? it always sounds like a good idea when you sign up, and then…
you’re traveling for work and dealing with time difference changes.
you get sick (unseasonably so…)
the weather sucks and you can’t get outside.
you’d rather go to yoga than run.
you’d rather hang with friends than run.
you’re just too darn tired.
all of the above and then some came into play for me this past weekend.
i was about to bail on the race because i just did not feel ready for it. i mean, i have been running but it’s been limited to the treadmill and distances 5 miles and under. not enough distance. not enough hill training for this course. why bother doing the race if i can’t do it right? and then i just sucked it up and kept my commitment. i mean, i wanted that ‘free’ shirt too of course 😉
here’s where my yoga-thinking came into play…”you signed up for it. you need to do it. don’t be so negative about it J…you’ve done this dozens and dozens of times over, you know you can do it…even if it’s not your best time, so what? even if you have to walk part of it…that’s ok…just do what you can with your body that day, in that moment. if you feel good, go with it. if you feel crappy and need to stop, go with that too. do not beat yourself up any more about it….”
anyway. some tips for you should you find yourself in a similar situation….
be realistic. understand that if you haven’t trained properly, you likely won’t be setting any new pr’s, so don’t pressure yourself any more than necessary with trying to maintain your standard pace or time. you’ll just be disappointed if you don’t meet them, and who knows, you could be pleasantly surprised in the end too. i literally put NO expectations on this race.
food & water. i mean, this kind of applies to all races, but stick to what you know works for you. i already have a nervous tummy on race days. no need to aggravate it further by binging on hot wings the night before. thank god i’m good to run the next morning even if i have a glass (or two) of wine the night before. oops 😉
start slow. i positioned myself in one of the starting corrals behind a pace group where i felt i could comfortably run without feeling the pressure of people running by me and speeding up around me. for me, it’s easy to get caught up in all of the excitement of the race and start off faster than normal and get tired. i’d rather speed up if i felt i could than start off too fast and not be able to last through the full course.
listen. to your body. to what’s going on around you. know when to keep pushing and know when to give yourself a rest.
one expectation…to be sore. you will be sore. two days later, i am still a little sore. but you know what, it wasn’t as bad as i thought it would be. it’s tolerable. and because i didn’t plant myself on the sofa after, did some yoga, and continue to stretch things out by moving around…i know i’ll be ok.
be proud. you just finished a race. that’s awesome. regardless. who cares what your time was- you just accomplished something a lot of people don’t do, and that’s so super cool. the feeling i get every time i approach a finish line is incredible. the excitement is real. i get tears in my eyes once i’m across that line.
so yeah, would i recommend not training? no. not ever. it’s not smart. at all. but in the end, i got lucky. the weather was great…and i actually did pretty good- all things considered. i felt really good when i started, so i went with it. and i felt really good as i kept running, so i went with it. right until i crossed the finish line. turns out i didn’t have to stop and walk once. how about that. and i got my ‘free’ shirt and beer at the finish line, so at the end of the day….all was right with the world.