About five months ago you could have asked me if I enjoyed running, and I would have answered with a fully confident, “Of course I love running, it’s hard but I still manage to run almost everyday and train hard.” My sentiments towards the sport and the athletes who take on running full time remain unchanged. I still have runners I look up to at every level, whether that be my teammates or elite Marathoners. However throughout these past five months I’ve learned a little about the sport and a whole lot about my training . You see I am naturally driven by my current state of mind, like most people are. This simply means the work that gets done is heavily determined by how I “feel” right now. The days I “feel” lazy I become unproductive in my studies or work.
Similar to how I chose to become indolent in my work when I wasn’t having the most ideal day, my work wasn’t getting done and nor was I running . This all was put into perspective over the summer when I worked at a day camp, with little 8 and 9 year olds. I worked 6-7 hours a day. Not long, I know but I arrived home everyday after work “feeling” drained. Alongside my work I had a running schedule I had to follow. So now you see the only three things I had to get done within a 24 hour span was sleep, work and running. Two of which I was checking of my to-do list, daily. However when it came to my running I only completed 60% of what I was suppose to be doing, the rest of the time I was too busy “feeling” tired, so I would sleep. Fast forward to when school started, I began running with a team. Joining a team wasn’t a time for me to use how I “felt” to drive my actions. I had to abide by the rules. I came to practice and ran, even it was at 6am. It didn’t matter if I slept at 1am the night before, I still had to do what was expected and I did. Regardless if it were work or school, I made sure to finish my tasks in fear of making a bad grade, having an unhappy boss or a coach who is displeased with my performance.
Even though I once viewed my daily routine of practice, school, work, and practice again as a chore it has only taught me one thing. My feelings will never produce results. It’s always up to my actions and hard work to produce the results I am looking for. The PRs a runner dreams about will remain a dream until he/she learns the work that goes into making what others are out hustling and bustling to make their reality. After all, the difference between a person who runs high millage and one who runs only on good days is that the first dreams about the day he/she will get faster while the latter just waits for the time to come. Now when I or any other runner out there has a day(s) where their body is telling them, “Wouldn’t rest be more favorable?”, you be sure to reply with action that reflects your true purpose and drive.
You don’t have to be on the ground to be understating of the pain he is facing. What a finish!
A Half Marathon, Marathon, 10k or 5k all have different meanings to every runner. I see race day as a runner’s payday. It is a day where one can prove to others and themselves that the countless miles, hours and pain have paid off. Whether the pay is a PR or finishing a new distance, we can all agree that it is a priceless feeling to notice your PR on the race clock.
Before the finish line celebrations or the victory lap, you have to first start your race and prepare the night before. The picture above is ten minutes before the start of my first half marathon.
Every runner goes to bed with the plan of getting as much sleep as possible for the big day. However 99.9% of runners spend more time tossing and turning rather than experiencing the much needed REM sleep. The biggest challenge of all being to take your mind off of what is to come but we all know that is not the simplest thing to do. So we all lay there thinking “What if…” questioning the millions of things that could happen during the race. Sooner or later the night passes and we have to wake up go to the race.
You then arrive at your event and seeing there are thousands of people there for the same reason gets your blood pumping. Butterflies and adrenaline are simultaneously kicking in, you then approach the start line. BooM! The race has started! As you mentally plan out how you will accomplish the goals you have set you are cheered on by hundreds of spectators that help carry you through the ups and downs. Before you know it, you are staring up at the clock in awe of the countless of miles that led you to where you are in that point in time. You then have a flashback of all the pain you overcame and you say to yourself, “This is why I run!”
Tell me, What goes on in your mind during a race?