As my first 5k run is quickly approaching I started to get a bit of the nervous jitters. Am I ready for this? What if I can’t finish the race? What if I’m the last person to finish the race? I only run on the treadmill, can I handle it when I’m running outside? Am I going to completely embarrass myself? I’m not a runner, what am I doing???
I decided that what I needed was a good 5k training program. And like any modern day woman in need of info, I started Googling.
Well Holy Toledo is there a lot of info out there!! The training programs for a 5k included speed training, hill training, tempo runs, long runs, VO2 max training, eating, sleeping and breathing running. One website even told me that I needed to be doing a 15 mile run once a week! 15 miles?!??! That’s over 24k! Here I am worried that I’m not even going to be able to complete a 5k and they want me to be doing a 24k run once a week? If I wanted to run half a marathon I would have signed up for a half marathon! Yikes.
So just as Google can turn a normally sane and healthy person into a hypochondriac when looking up symptoms, this was turning me into psychotic basket case frantically trying to put together a running plan. My head was spinning trying to figure out when I was going to fit in this 6 days a week of running, plus Fitcamp, plus taking care of my children and having a life.
Running this 5k was supposed to be a fun way to set some goals and push myself a bit. A way to feel out racing and then get myself ready for a 10k. Instead it was turning me into a giant stress ball!
Then I read another website which told me: If this is your first race, just run. Don’t worry about speed training or hill training. Just worry about finishing the race.
Huh…what a novel idea! I have such a tendency to go full speed ahead with my ideas to the point where it stops being fun and I lose all motivation to keep going with it. So the idea of just running…now that I can handle. All of a sudden the ball of stress accumulating in my stomach has disappeared and I am once again excited about the race.
I am going to take the simple advice of that last website and just run.
Whether I finish at my goal time, or finish last, I think the important thing for me is that I just finish. I’m getting myself out there and that for me is a huge step. My motto for training for this race and for race day as well is this:
Don’t be discouraged because the goal looks so far away. Instead look back and be encouraged by how far you’ve come.
It used to kill me to run half a block and now I am running 5k three times a week. It may not be fast, it may not be pretty, but I’m doing it! So I’m going to keep on running until one day I look back on my hesitation to run this first 5k race and find it laughable because of all I’ve accomplished since then. Every step forward is a step towards my goals. Just keep running!