Thursday, June 30, 2011

... And Here Comes The Race Doubts

For someone who is a race addict and thinks she can accomplish damn near anything, I get the worst case of race doubts when racing in new distances. I just picked up my race packet for the Summerfest Rock n Sole Half Marathon, and it hit me that my first half marathon is in exactly 10 days. ::cue panic attack:: I think I will be more calm in the zombie apocalypse, than I am talking about this half marathon. Something that I have been dreaming about, and prepping for nearly a year is in a week and a half. I'm normally a realist, but I've noticed that I become quite the pessimistic leading up to races. I'm at this weird point where I don't even want to train, almost like I'm trying to fail.

Who would have thought a small piece of paper with a number on it could bring on a panic attack?

It probably doesn't help that I'm coming off of an injury, so I'm just really doubting my body. For the past week I've been having issues with cramping in my left leg. I have been holding off on the foam roller phenomenon this entire time, but finally caved. Who would have thought a cylinder of hard foam could cost thirty dollars be a gift from the heavens above? Sure, while using it I was in pain and wanted to kill inflict pain upon whoever invented the stupid thing, but I woke up the next morning actually able to walk. What a relief! Finally got back to running this week, and it's been rough. I feel really unstable. Not sure if I'm babying my 'injury', or if it's all in my head?

If you start doubting yourself before races, how do you reverse it and get your head back in the game?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I've Come To The Conclusion...

... that I'm addicted to races and I think my body can handle anything. So, what has lead to this conclusion, you ask? I was talking to a good running friend, Jon, earlier today, and he told me about his plans to do a 2012 Iron Man. Instantly the wheels in my head start turning, and I start contemplating competing in an Iron Man 70.3. WHAT‽ For those of you who are reading this that have no idea what the Iron Man 70.3 Triathlon is, it's a race that starts with a 1.2 mile swim, then off to a 56 mile bike ride and finishes with a 13.1 mile (half marathon) run. Oh, and this is only the half Iron Man, double the distances for the full Iron Man. Those who complete Iron Man races are pretty much bad-ass, and I'd love to compete in both the 70.3 and the full in my lifetime.

It's funny what a year can do to your confidence. A year ago I hadn't even gone out for my first run, and since then I've completed three 5k's, two 10k's and am registered for two half marathons this summer. What's funny is before I even ran my first 10k, I already had the goal of a half marathon. So this is totally how I roll. I haven't even ran my first half marathon, and I'm signed up for a second half marathon six weeks later. Now I have the bright idea of competing in an Iron Man 70.3. So, what do I find the most amusing about wanting to do this race? A) I don't own a bike, and haven't in well over 10 years. B) I don't know how to swim. C) I still haven't even completed a 13.1 mile run yet. So I'm either overly confident in my body, I have just enough confidence to think that anything that I sign up for I'll be able to complete, or maybe I'm just a little bit crazy.

I'll go with all of the above.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

They're Personal Records For A Reason

As I'm creeping up on my one year anniversary of running, it's getting harder and harder to not compare myself to other runners. When I first started I allowed myself to use the excuse "Well, I just started running X months ago" when being compared to another runner. Now that I'm weeks away from my big one year anniversary, I feel like I'm even more embarrassed of my run times when talking to experienced runners, and need to remind myself that they're called personal records for a reason.

In the last week I was shocked to have actually beaten two of my previous personal records. The major of the two PR's was my 10k record, at last weekends Bellin Run 10k in Green Bay, WI. The previous 10k that I had ran was April 23rd, and finished with a time of 1 hour and 10 minutes. I had gone into the Bellin Run joking about going sub 1 hour, but I knew it was a long shot and it became more of a joke than anything. As I crossed the starting line I started off a little slow, just to take things easy. It was around the 3 mile marker that I realized that I did have a good chance of going sub 1 hour, and really started to pick up my pace. Unfortunately, I did not go sub 1 hour. But close. Really really close. My final time for the Bellin Run 10k was 1 hour and 57 seconds. Yep. That's close.

The second PR from this week is my from my 3 mile easy run. Before I left California for a couple month vacation in Wisconsin, I ran a 3 mile for time and ran it in 29 minutes and 21 seconds. It was the first time I had ever gone sub 30, and I was completely stoked! Before that run, I was never really big on timing myself for 3 mile runs with the running club. I would just put in my headphones, put on my favorite playlist and just run. Since then I have pretty much fallen in love with my RunKeeper App for my iPhone, and haven't ran without it since. Knowing where I'm at for time, distance and pace has been incredible for running outdoors. Over the last month, there have been a run or two when I was close to a new personal record, or only took off a few seconds. However, it was last nights run that I had destroyed my 3 mile time. I'm not going to lie, I was shocked to hear my RunKeeper tell me that I had ran my 3 mile in just over 27 minutes.

Even though it's pretty depressing at times to hear what other women my age run their 5k's and 10k's in, I have to constantly remind myself that I've still only been running for less than a year. Not that it's an excuse, but I have to look at it as a sense of accomplishment. I have to remind myself that with a year of training I can run a 10k in the same time that it took to run a 5k. It's truly amazing to see what your body can do when you work hard and set your mind to it.