Today, as I sit down to write this, I am a mere 5 days away from running my slowest half marathon ever. Seriously! My stats don’t lie. I have a pretty good idea what my time will be and it’s not looking good.
For the past few weeks I’ve been having random freak outs about running this half marathon, despite my training. I’m going to be so freaking slow! The weather forecast looks really wet, so that means I’m going to be out in the rain forever! I can always switch to the 10K at the last minute, right? What was I thinking?
I started dreading today’s run last night. I kept thinking, I’ve got to get my mind right! I was still dreading my run this morning. Then I realized I was able to run in the afternoon today. That helped my mind a little, because my body just likes running in the afternoon better for some reason. Afternoon arrived and fatigue suddenly hit. Great! I stalled a bit and negotiated with myself. I took the obligatory mileage expectation out of the equation and then finally made it out for my run just as the sun was beginning to peek out from behind the clouds. I was just going to run. No expectations, no requirements, just get a run in.
In no time at all, I settled in to my run. It was cold, but the fresh air and sunshine were just what I needed. As my head cleared and my attitude improved, so did my running. I was running comfortably and yet each mile was surprisingly a bit faster than the last. When I got home covered in sweat, but refreshed and renewed, I realized that I had run a negative split without even trying!
I realize that one good run doesn’t mean anything will change 5 days from now. But, one good run can help your mind in so many ways. Is my half going to be slow? Yes. Is it going to be challenging? It always is. Am I going to finish? You better believe it!
So, if you see me slowly making my way towards the finish line at the Cascade Half this weekend; give me a high five, a few words of encouragement, or just a smile. I will probably need it, just as you might sometime. But, thanks to today’s run, my mind is right. And that’s more than half the battle.