It is less than a month to my goal. Nineteen days, to be exact. Considering I will likely taper the week before (yes, I am tapering for my first 5k, don’t laugh at me), I have a week and a half left to train for my first 5k race since high school. For those who want me to quantify that, the last time I ran 5k, in a race, with other folks, was in 1992 for a cross-country meet.
Yup, 20 years ago. I’m &#@$% old, man. (Not really, just middling, but some mornings it feels a lot older…)
I had thought, when I originally set out to do this thing, that I would be a worried, stressed out mess.
I’m fairly confident I can finish the distance, even if I have to throw in a 1 minute walk halfway. I am running – consistently – 4k now, and I have found my “forever pace” of 7 to 8 minute kilometres that I can maintain for longer periods before I start to feel like jello in human form, wobbling down the road. Once I am in better shape, I likely can bring that to a 6 to 7 minute kilometre, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves, eh? Next year, next year…
What I thought would be scary is not scary at all. I thought I would be worried about running with other people, or being squished in the mass start of the race. It isn’t on my radar. I thought the distance would be daunting. 5k does not feel long anymore.I was worried I wouldn’t be able to run even a kilometre, and was so afraid of trying and failing at this goal. I was even worried I would have to set up intervals just to make it, and be *@#%$ slow, thus losing that feeling of “running” the race.
I won’t fail. Not possible now. I put in the hours and kilometres to ensure that. I am prepared.
My mantra for being in the box, surrounded by nervous people, is “Run your own race”. My mantras for out on the course is “You can do this” (not very profound, I know) and “Be comfortable with being uncomfortable” to push through the leg aches and my inner critic telling my body to stop. I will be fueled by adrenalin, Van Halen, and Gatorade Prime, but I think my years and years of competing with my horses, and conquering my nerves just to go out and run this summer will help me remember how to bury those jitters and Just. DO. It.
Truthfully, I am already looking forward to 8 months from now, when I have to jump into the mud race arena and attempt my first Tough Mudder. I have a lot to do to prepare for that. I have been more confident about my race, and now, I see it as more of a building block to May than a big hairy goal on its own.
I am laughing at myself jes’ a wee tich, because in the Spring this race was a HUGE boogeyman. Now, not so much. What was I worried about? Heh…
The signifigance is not any less, and when I am done this race it will be awesome, and I will feel accomplished. I will be able to say I did it, I set out and achieved my goal.
But I’m not freaking out anymore.
Let’s save that for the water obstacles at Tough Mudder, yeah?