So this morning, I woke up in a panic. Of course, I blame the internet.
I’ve been reading some message boards that deal with running and the race I’ve selected. I’m the kind of person who likes… no, who NEEDS to be prepared. I need Best Case Scenario, Worst Case Scenario and all Scenarios In Between. I am equipped with Plans A, B, and C, and I can reel off Plans D-Z, if necessary. It’s just how I function, especially in new situations.
It’s really why you want me in your foxhole should the Zombie Apocalypse ever materialize.
Unfortunately, my compulsive need for overpreparation sometimes has the nasty side effect of psyching me out.
And that’s why, when I opened my eyes this morning, my heart was pounding and I was practically in a cold sweat thinking “There’s no way I can do this.”
In my “research,” I read some very encouraging stories. People, running their first race, rising against the odds (be it heat, humidity, rough trails) to cross the finish line to claim their medals. And that pumps me up. But those stories are interspersed with less kind ones: people claiming that if you can’t run x distance in y time, you shouldn’t even be on the course, that if you choose to do intervals you are ruining the race for everyone else, that if you think there is the slightest chance you will be injured, come down with a stomach bug, might not be able to keep speed in any way, then you shouldn’t even bother signing up because you’re bringing the whole race down.
It’s hard to read. And it’s very disheartening. And I start questioning if I have what it takes. If I’m taking it seriously enough. If I gave myself enough time to build up to 10 miles. If I should even bother because I’m pretty sure that I may have to walk at some point and that I’m going to get in someone’s way, and let’s face it, there’s really no way to know if I’m going to get the stomach bug or not.
I’m taking this pretty seriously. I’m sticking to the training, even though some days, I long to add extra time or do a double workout. I’m going slowly and steadily to avoid injury and build myself up. I’m hydrating (with actual water, not red wine) and making better food choices). I feel like I have enough time to make 10 miles by early October. The pieces are all there. It’s up to me to hold them together.
Most importantly, I like it. I hope I get to a point where I love it. But I’ll take like for now.
With all that rolling around in my head, I laced up this morning, somehow not expecting a great session.
I rocked it, if I do say so myself. I got a great pace, and I’ve definitely decided that I need to do a serious study of my ipod playlist. Ridiculous as it sounds, the Cha Cha Slide provides an excellent beat for getting one foot in front of the other. I found myself not even checking the app on my phone to see how much time I had remaining in my running portions – it just went that smoothly.
There was one little hiccup when I rolled my ankle with a misstep on the sidewalk, but it was in the last 20 seconds of running, and I was able to work it out between the final walking interval and the cool down.
I’m trying to keep the negative thoughts out of my head. They’re not doing me any good and if I keep on my training path, I know I will deserve to be in that corral no matter what.
So here’s the thing: Those people that are saying interval runner/walkers ruin a race? They’re full of crap. If you need to walk, you walk. I will never run a straight race. I do Galloway and I always will. Run/walk/run is all I do. And you know what? I stay out of people’s way. I run left, walk right. You make sure no one is behind you when you slow down to your walk. runDisney races probably have the highest percentage of people who do intervals because Galloway is their main training spokesperson. It’s more an issue with people who don’t follow the rules of racing (run left, walk right) and those who beef up their times to get a higher corral that they probably don’t belong in. You do what you have to do to get through your race and forget what anyone else says. You’ve got plenty of time to do this and you’ll rock it come October. No panic necessary. This isn’t the Boston.
Well, without panic, I probably won’t have the necessary adrenaline to get through to October, especially since I cut out caffeine 🙂 I think I’m going to feel a lot better after I sign up for and do my 5K. Too many unknowns for me to be sane and reasonable, right now.
Emily Phan says
You’re doing awesome Jenn! It’s normal to be nervous for your first race, heck, any race honestly! I get butterflies every time I race. It’s the unknowns that always get me. But don’t worry about going slow, or walking. The only piece of runner’s etiquette I can offer is if you want to walk, move over to the side and go for it! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a pace group who does the run/walk method (which I do myself), literally stop in front of me to walk, blocking my way. That’s frustrating. I walk too, but I always check my surroundings, make sure I’m not cutting anyone off, then move over to walk. Don’t listen to the naysayers who tell you you can’t walk, you can’t go slow, that’s baloney. Don’t panic! I ran the Donna full once with a cold. I survived, barely, but I did. Just have fun! That’s what it’s all about!
You are seriously an inspiration. I’m just going to do the best that i can. And hope that I don’t intentionally stop in front of someone. Or hit into someone. Or fall. 🙂
Kristin Smith says
The people who are telling you to quit clearly have not met you.
Listen, you’re doing everything right. You’re training the right (safe!) way, you’re reading about the race, learning what you need to know. Screw the people that say you shouldn’t walk at all. It’s Disney, not the Boston Marathon. Go out there and enjoy your first big race. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter if you walk the whole thing or have a killer PR, what matters is that you got out there and did the 10 miles and you had fun doing it.
Today was such a great session that I feel like I could run the whole ten miles tomorrow. Funny how that works. I’m really just trying to breathe and worry about myself, but… I suck at both those things. I’m going to focus on the bling and the cocktails and Captain Jack Sparrow and try really hard not to dwell on anything else. Thanks for being such an amazing cheerleader.