Posts tagged ‘visualization’

Ready to run!

Since my first run just three months ago, I have trained consistently.  I have covered uncounted miles and acquired several pairs of running shorts.  I have even purchased 4 pairs of fancy wool socks at $14 each.  I have finished two races and was happy with both finish times. I have read a running book, a triathlon book and everything Running World has ever published on its website.  I have also faithfully read many great blogs and runner tweets.  Today, it is quite obvious that all my prep work is complete and there is just one thing left to do: run.

I could make it a lot more complicated.  I could talk about all the many feelings and thoughts running through—how I almost cried when I got my race packet at the expo because I was so excited or how I have obsessed over the ever-dropping temperatures that are now estimated be about 28 degrees when I head out in the morning—but the one thought coming in loud and clear over every other thought is that I am ready to run.

My legs feel great.  My running kit is all laid out.  My gels and apple juice are in the right pockets and zipped tightly in my fuel belt.  The camera is charge.  Boyfriend knows where to be.  I am very carbo-loaded.  My playlist is finalized.  It is time to run.

Tonight, I plan to relax, knowing all the details are taken care of.  I am sure there will be a moment of panic in the morning—even in the middle of the night—but I am ready.  Tomorrow is my first half marathon and I am ready!  All those shirts and stickers in the expo? Tomorrow they all pertain to me. It is so overwhelming I can’t help tearing up just a little.  It must be all the carbs.  Tears, freezing temps and 13.1 miles will all be tackled tomorrow.  I am ready to run!


December 4, 2009 at 10:52 pm 1 comment

The Future

You reach that point in high school when you have to begin thinking about college; you reach that point in college when you have to begin thinking about a career. You even hit that age when you have to start thinking about families, but I am avoiding that one for the time being. I can’t however deny my looming race date and the reality that I must explore the future beyond it.

I am sure there are people who are blessed enough to focus on one goal or one race at a time; I am not one of them.  I have always done too many things at once and need to know what I will be doing next week in order to do what I will need to do today.  So I woke up at 7:00 this Saturday morning to think about  (dom dom doooooohm) The Future.

An hour later, I had mapped out the next six months of my training life in painstaking detail.  The good news is that it can be done.  The scary news is that it is way more than I have ever done before.  But if I do it, I will have run my first half marathon and completed my first sprint triathlon in my thirtieth year of life (with literally no days to spare –I turn 31 the day after my tri).

I would be lying if I said the challenge before me was not intimidating, but I am also thrilled by the idea of new challenges ahead.  I am also super-psyched that boyfriend will be training with me for the tri.  Which is to say, he is doing the tri, though has made it clear he has no desire to train as much as I do or take it as seriously as I do.  And he may still beat me…but that is yet to be seen.

So here’s what the next six months after my first half marathon hold.  I hope a few of you will stick around for that journey as well! I am running 10 miles tomorrow and then just 25 miles till race day.

My 2010 Event and Training Calendar for Half marathon and Sprint Triathlon

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November 21, 2009 at 11:45 pm Leave a comment

Post-race rainy days always get me down

hill climbing black


One of the first things you intuitively learn when you start running is that there are always two sides of a hill.  If you run up, you get to run down.  If you are going down, chances are you are going to have to go up again.  I have been taking my little hills in stride, but I feel like I just rounded a corner and came face to face a looming monster.  The fun race with my sister is gone and the half is little more than five weeks away.

Maybe everyone is a little down after all the excitement of a race.  Even though it went really well and should be inspiring me to get out there and train hard for my half marathon, it really has just left me tired.  And after running with my sister the prospect of going out alone seems a little depressing.

Not to mention it has been pouring rain all day so there was really no way to do an outdoor run.  I actually took a nap during lunch instead of going to the gym.  It is truly one of those days, but I do have a plan to overcome my post-race blues.

The same way I could see myself running along the streets months before I laced up, I am having visions of myself running in the many parks and trails around town. Less structured than following roads and traffic signs, the trails are teasing me with the tastes of freedom and fall.

I will take one more day to revel in my own post-race glory and watch sadly as it fades. Tomorrow, the sun will come out and I will run in the park.  After all, there are more hills to climb and more glory to come.

Title Reference: Rainy Days And Mondays, Words and Music by: Paul Williams & Roger Nichols

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October 27, 2009 at 7:48 pm Leave a comment

Inspired to Run


I am nervous and exited about my trip.  I can’t believe that in a few short days I will be running eight miles for the first time with thousands of other people (probably not their first time).  Getting ready for the trip has cut into my training this week, but I am still hoping to get in a short run before I hop a plane in a few short hours.

Whenever I tell people that I am running a half marathon, they seem impressed.  And really they should be, as a race of that length is not something to be entered into lightly.  As I talk more about running and racing—and the fact that I am a true newbie overambitious enough try to tackle it all in a few short months—they get excited.  Sometimes, they even get inspired.

Today, as I get ready to run a new race and earn my first medal, I think about the people who have inspired me.  All my friends at the farmers market who told me I could do this, my friends for Nashville and my former co-worker who told me to go for it, and of course my boyfriend who wants to train for a triathlon. They love to run and convinced me I could love running too.  When I told my sister I loved running, she rediscovered her love of running. Now we are doing the The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 13K together!

Just talking about running seems to make other people want to run.  This infectious hobby becomes a true passion for the people who embrace it.  So thanks to all the people that inspired and continue to inspire me.  I plan to pass on the gift.  Runners, keep inspiring others to run too!

I am not sure when my next post will be due to my true vacation (no computers!), but I will upload pics and a full report of the race soon.

October 21, 2009 at 1:47 pm 1 comment

Focused on the Prize


The week of my first endurance race has finally arrived.  I had a get 6-mile run on Saturday and a short 2-miler during lunch today.  I will squeeze in 4 miles on Wednesday before I head down for several days of fun before the big race.  Unfortunately I don’t think any of that fun will help with the race.

I will spend three days on my feet at Disney and Universal and two nights of scary drinking at Halloween Horror Nights.  Not mention eating in the parks and sleeping in a weird bed.  But this is supposed to be a vacation, and I plan to have fun—I just hope having tired feet won’t make the 8 miles waiting for me Saturday night feel like 48.

I am running with my sister, which should help the time fly by.  And while under normal circumstances I am confident I could run all 8, she has not been training as long.  Staying with her will probably mean a little extra walking, but I think it will be worth it for a great sister finish line photo.

In the meantime, I am planning and packing snacks, running gear, vacation gear, book and sunscreen.  After the 38-degree weather this morning, highs in mid 80s sound perfect.

Surprisingly, I am not stressed yet.  This may not be my perfect race performance, but it will be a great trip.  And it is always easier to run when you’re having fun.  Or when you are getting a medal.  My first medal ever.  And a great race and finish line pic when my sister.  Yes, you could say I am totally focused on the prize.

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October 19, 2009 at 8:20 pm Leave a comment

Setting Marathon Goals: I think I will run it


I read a lot of running blogs, both instructive and narrative in format.  In fact, one blog entry really pushed me over the edge when I was deciding to sign up for my half marathon.  As the season kicks off, everyone had begun posting reports of their races.  Reading a few great marathon recaps today I suddenly, and quite unexpectedly, got nervous.

I started this blog for me, so I would have a place to talk about all my running thoughts, and hopes, and fears…and so that I would stop driving my family and friends crazy by talking about running all the time.  So far, it has worked really well and my loved ones have lost the tell-tell, glossy-eyed stare.  I did not, however, anticipate how intimidating it would be to try putting my hopes in writing.

I still don’t have a finish time in mind for my half.  In fact, I don’t really know how to set a marathon goal.  With seven weeks out, the furthest I have run is 5 miles.  While my average pace is holding strong between 10:00 and 10:15, I am sure maintaining that pace will become harder as I run further.  Of course, by then I assume 10 miles will feel like my 5 miles feel now.  Even so, I am reserving the right to not set a goal until I have done my 10 miles.

But even without a time goal—and I still reserve the right to not set a time goal too—I know my real goal is to run the whole way.  Again, I really don’t know if that is realistic, but that is my goal each time I set out: to run.

As I think about the race, still weeks away with many obstacles yet to be discovered, I have decided to calm my nerves by just telling myself over and over that when my day comes, I will run.  I don’t know what the weather will be like, if I will need to poo in the middle, what gu or food will be my secret weapon, or who will be there to see me finish, but I know I will run.  And me running really is an amazing thought…that makes me feel much better.

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October 14, 2009 at 5:06 pm 1 comment

Visualizing success despite my missing mug

mugDespite the wide selection of coffee mugs available in our office kitchen cabinets, I prefer to bring my own.  I like drinking my tea out of the same mug each day, knowing exactly how I will start my day as I sort my emails.

Today, my mug was gone.  After three separate trips to the kitchen (each time I opened the cabinet and hoped my mug would magically appear), I looped the office and discovered my mug…in the hand of the Global Sr. VP.

It took a few moments for the creepy feeling I often get when people want to try on my shoes or borrow my favorite blanket or just invade into my personal space a little too much to pass.  Then I faced two simple facts: 1) I am not going to tell the Global Sr. VP she has my mug, and 2) If I am going to drink my morning tea, I will be drinking it in something else.

Two more trips to the kitchen cabinets and I finally selected a disposable cup.  I just could not commit to another one.

I am really not a structured person, but I often find these little glitches to how I envisioned my day become major roadblocks.  I’ve learned that if I cannot get a positive mental picture of myself doing something, I either won’t do it or I do it and it usually turns out as I imagined.  I turned down a full scholarship to one university because the image that immediately popped in my head each time I considered attending was of me walking to class alone on a gray winter morning, a scarf at my neck blowing wildly in the harsh wind.  (It was an SEC school, so this scenario was really pretty ridiculous.)

Yet, I have also learned that powerful positive visualization can be the key to successful runs.   When I take the time to see myself running powerfully mile after mile, then the miles are usually just as I thought they would be.  Lately, I’ve decided what I am wearing the night before so I can see my pink-shirted self moving through the streets on my “hilly Thursday route.”  I imagine the chill on my legs and dew in the grass and hear my power song encouraging me up the big monster.

After a week of eyes so swollen from a nasty cold that the only thing I could envision was my bed, I am finally better and overcome with exciting images of tomorrow’s run.  Green shirt, lucky shorts, 61 degrees, uphill start in the fading darkness, flat finish, all power.   And after the run, my shower and my commute, I see myself celebrating with a whole-wheat bagel, string cheese and a cup of decaf tea in my mug.

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October 12, 2009 at 4:55 pm Leave a comment

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