Today was a 5K to support the XC team of Valdosta State University. It was of course humid! I would't expect anything else here in South Georgia. Seriously, I am so OVER the humidity!!!! GAH!
5Ks are mentally and physically tough....... I am going to go into that later in this post.... first, let's look at some pictures!!! :) I only have a couple pictures because I was off my photo game today.........
Above are some of my favorite running peeps........ friends that are runners are AWESOME!! Well, non-runner friends are too, but they do not like to talk running...... nor do they share the misery of running in 94% humidity!!!!! HA!HA!HA!HA! :D
Above are two of the nicest people I know...... seriously, they are probably 2 most my most encouraging fans....... well, besides my husband and son. Well, and my running tribe.... ok, I have lots of people who inspire and motivate me.......butttttt, whenever, I am feeling like I have lost my mind about my future goals, these 2 show up at a 5K and offer the most encouraging words! They also make me start to believe that I can obtain my crazy set goals! Sometimes, a pep talk is all you need to stay on track..... and focused for that matter.
When Excitement Takes Over
The picture below is me RIGHT after I killed..... I mean murdered (in a good way) my tempo run!!! This was Thursday morning after I dropped my son off at school. I actually texted this exact photo to my coach immediately....... I am pretty sure my number is now blocked on his phone!! HA! HA! HAHAHAHAHAHA!HA! :D
Anyway, my tempo runs per training plan are set for a 7:40-7:45 pace. This past Thursday, I ran the 3 miles at 7:39 average pace. Mile splits were as follows: 7:31 (as my garmin beeped, I told myself to slow down! Too fast!), 7:45 (target range, but upper limit), and 7:42 (perfect!). It was humid! I had nasal congestion garlore (sorry if TMI)....... Infact, I was not sure when I woke up that morning whether the tempo run was going to happen. I did not feel on my game! I used a box of tissues clearing out my sinuses (again, sorry for the TMI). BUttttttt, I decided to get dress.....thought to myself, I will drop my son off for school, warm up, start tempo..... andddd, if not feeling it or going well, I would bail! That plain and simple.
My warm up run was 1 mile at a 11:21 pace. Thoughts of how I was going to pull off the tempo run ran through my head. After warming up, I performed some dynamic stretching..... got some strange looks from drivers passing by...... in my head... "Come on Polly, let's do this! Come on! Just get started! Run fast! Get it over! Come on!" Finallyyyyy, I took a deep breath, got my garmin hooked to a satellite, and with the push of the start button, I was off!!!!!! Amazingly, mile 1 went well...... honestly, I don't think I thought of much except putting one foot in front of the other..... when garmin beeped, and I saw the pace, I knew I had this tempo run in the bag! There was no turning back! When at mile 2 the garmin beeped, I looked down to see I was at target pace, and I became excited... told myself, contain excitement! Run not over! I passed a couple people walking about quarter mile apart, some how seeing people made me keep on pace and not slow. Little did they know, they were motivating spectators to me...... they probably weren't thinking the same.... andddddd, truth be known, I bet they were thinking, "runners like her are crazy! Running like that in this heat? Yep, crazy runner girl there!" I don't care what they were thinking, my perception was they were spectators cheering me on!!!! LOL! :D
Below, is a picture from my VERY FIRST 5K!!!!!! I trained 3 months to conquer 3.1 miles! When I first started to run, I ran literally 0.8 miles and thought I was going to die!!!! 3.1 miles seemed like such a feat! I was 40 years old! I needed some physical activity to incorporate in my life....... I am not an aerobics person, I don't want to think about some crazy move and try to keep up with all the jumping around. With running, it is simple..... one foot in front of the other..... my mind is allowed during that time to escape stress..... literally, there is nothing I am think about except my form, breathing, and keeping pace...... it truly is the most relaxing part of my day!
I ran this first 5K at 32:58!!!!!!! I was so proud of that time! I worked so hard for that time!!! Also, my expected time to come in was 36-38 minutes, and I had ran much better than intended! I felt like a rock star crossing that finish line...... and the cheers from the spectators had me hooked!!!! Yes, there were bound to be many races in the future for me!!!! Today, I ran 22:44! Goes to show you that with consistency.... the body can be conditioned to do many things! If I can do it at the age of 40..... ANYONE can!
5K - Mentally/Physically tough
If the truth be known, 5Ks are my least favorite runs! Seriously, it is the only time that I become overwhelmed with nervousness! I get this weird numb/tingling sensation as all the runners line up to toe the start line. It is the mental and physical toughness of a 5k that gets me....... mentally speaking: 1- you have to have a strong mental game to push fast throughout the race, 2- you have to have mental control to know that you can not go out fast the first mile or YOU WILL slow against your will, 3- you have to mentally be on your OWN game and not let the other runners from the start influence how you go out the gate!!!!!! 4- Mentally, you have to stay in the mile you are in, and take one mile at a time, andddd 5- mentally, you can not give up or think you are tired..... you must mentally push yourself to the very end!!!!!!! Physically speaking: 1- you really need to get warmed up, 2- physically focus on form, keeping head up (coach always says, "look up and take another"), slight lean forward, pump arms, focus on breathing, and think about fast leg turnover (well, at least this is what I do-- maybe a more elite might have other advice.... remember, I am not an elite or advanced runner for that matter.... I am still learning and figuring this running thing out).
Below, is what my hair looks like after running!!!! No more pony tails in the humidity for this girl! I have finally came up with a hair do that does not cause my hair to get all matted....... simple put in braid and then wrap into a bun!!!! Sheesh...... why is South Georgia so freakin' humid!!!!! Fall weather can NOT get here fast enough!
Gotta run! More soon!!!! Hope everyone is having a GREAT weekend!!! Please keep the Texas folks in your thoughts and prayers!!!