Motivation Monday: The Bolder Boulder edition

This time next week, I’ll be running a 10K at 5,400 feet.

How’s a little good, old-fashioned anxiety for motivation?

I’m actually not feeling terribly anxious about the Bolder Boulder 10K, which Steve and I are running as a fund-raiser for the American Cancer Society in honor of his mom, who was recently diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. But I do feel the same sense of eager anticipation I do before a much longer race, knowing that this one will stretch my current physical limits.

My goals for the race remain the same: To run strong and steady, and to accept the fact that, thanks to my continuing ACL-reconstruction recovery, this won’t be my fastest race. My aim is to foster the same sort of acceptance about this race that our cancer-survivor friends and family members have fostered about life.

Which brings me to this week’s Bolder Boulder-themed Motivation Monday. Motivating me this week:

  • Your generosity. Steve and I have never done a race as a fund-raiser, so when we decided to run the Bolder Boulder to raise money for the American Cancer Society, we didn’t know what to expect. We set our team goal at $500. We had no idea how generous our wonderful friends and family members really were. We have raised almost $2,000, and knowing we have so many friends supporting our goal financially and emotionally has been beyond motivating. If you’d still like to donate, visit our fund-raising page. If you’ve already donated, or have lent us emotional or spiritual support, please know I’m running this race for you, too.
  • Eric Cornell’s story. As a University of Colorado graduate, I knew Eric Cornell, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics the same year I graduated, was a phenomenal person. I had no idea how phenomenal until I read the recent Runner’s World profile detailing his struggles with a shoulder amputation. Amazingly, he has not only returned to regular life as a physics rock-star, but has returned to running again, too, and has run the Bolder Boulder almost every year.
  • The chance to set some great process-based goals. I have no idea what my goal time should be for this race. This leaves me pondering process-based goals, which are way healthier, anyway. I’m aiming to run an evenly paced race—or a race with negative splits. Run the first mile easy, then gradually increase to a sprint by the end.
  • A solid training week. The past week of training was really tough to get through. You may recall that I kind of overbooked myself by signing up for the Bolder Boulder next weekend and the 4.4-mile Great Chesapeake Bay Bridge Swim June 12. Last week, with my first seven-mile run since ACL surgery in January and my first 7,000-meter swim since high school, I was feeling the overload. But now that the week is past, I’m feeling mostly confidence and strength—which is kind of the whole point of doing these races, right?
  • The chance to learn. No matter how slow this race is for me, thinking about race strategy for a 10K will be really good for me, as I currently have no idea how to race a 10K. Do you? If so, please leave some guidance in a comment. What do you do during a “taper week” for a 10K? How long before the race do you start laying off the hard workouts? What’s your strategy for the actual race?

What’s motivating you this week?


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3 responses to “Motivation Monday: The Bolder Boulder edition

  1. I’m far from a running expert, but I just raced a 10k (around :54), and just tried to pace it like any other distance race I do: Easy the first quarter, build the middle half, and use whatever you have left the last quarter. For “taper” I did one last long, outdoor run the week before, 4 miles of speedwork 5 days out, and an easy 3 mile run two days before. And of course, swam in between :). My legs felt relatively well rested on race day, but everybody’s experience is different.

  2. Heather C

    I treat 10Ks as a tempo run – I try to avoid going at an all-out 5K pace, and go a little faster than I know I would for a half or 10-mile race. It’s sort of a fun, tricky, in-between race distance! Considering you’ll be at altitude, I’d start “easy” and go for negative splits from there 🙂

    I hope I can make it up there to see this race (that I have heard SO MUCH about, ha) and you!

  3. I’m sure with that great attitude you’ll have a good race. Important – you will NEED to consume a gel or other 100 calorie item about halfway through or you will run out of gas.
    As far as the taper goes, three days out do a 1 -3 mi run, then take 2 rest days (or 1 mile run if you must run or lose your mind).
    Have fun and congrats on your fundraising!

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