So I’ve got this half-marathon this weekend.
I trained a whole bunch for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half-Marathon before I left for a two-week vacation to Europe, during which my workouts included grueling backpacking through the gorgeous peaks of the Pyrenees and long swims in the Mediterranean, with recovery foods involving tapas and sangria. Every once in a while, I’d work in a nice, easy run of indiscriminate pace and distance—and that’s about it. I haven’t run a single step since getting home last Sunday night, and the race is this Sunday morning.
After listening to me whine about this predicament one too many times this week, Steve pointed out that I don’t *have* to do it. He’s totally right—but here’s why I am, and why I’m no longer whining about it.
This morning, I got to interview Colorado sports psychologist Stephen Walker for a story I’m working on. He offered some tips for weekend warriors about how to stay motivated through training and relaxed on race day, and these two really hit home:
- Walker says that “fitness in and of itself is reinforcement” for many weekend-warriors who run distance races. “They appreciate the byproducts of living a healthy lifestyle: their brighter, more positive, attitude, the fact that they have more energy, the way they look and feel in clothes. The endorphins kick in when they’re out running, and they think, ‘Why wouldn’t I do this?’ “
Earlier this week, I wrote a post about how being fit and strong helped me make the most of an incredible vacation. Guess what got me fit and strong? Training for this half-marathon. Whatever happens on race day, my mission has already been accomplished.
- On race day, Walker says to “keep as relaxed as possible. Look around. Wave to people you recognize. Put a smile on your face. Drink it in, and have fun.”
I am so lucky to be able to run this half-marathon, and to be fairly certain I’ll finish. It’s a great opportunity for a beach weekend for me and Steve, and a great way to spend time with my running buddies who are doing the race, too. All that considered, Walker’s race-day advice sounds like a perfect goal for Sunday–and for every race I sign up for.
See you on the beach!