Sunday, February 20, 2011

Next Up: Miller Zoo Stampede

Now that the stair climb is over, my thoughts are turning to the next event on the calendar, a 5k. And I'm actually looking forward to it.

Since December, I've been working on the my mental state more than I've been working on my physical state. The physical is in a good place right now with being able to run a 5k without any trouble. The form is improving, the endurance is increasing, and the speed is there to tap into. The mental state, though, has a tough time seeing all of these things as positives. I did a lot of self-reflection through November, even taking the month off, and made one big decision. That decision is I will participate in 5k events, sprint tri events, and cycling events, but only for personal enjoyment, not to try and prove something to anyone, especially myself. Being a perfectionist as well as highly competitive, this was a difficult step for me to take.

Getting back to training in December, I started slowly, running and cycling on the trainer almost everyday. In January, with the new rec center opening, I was able to add swimming, cross training, and weights. I've been mixing up the training a lot, not doing any one type of workout every single day. The mixing it up has done wonders for me; I feel more physically fit now than I have since starting this whole lifestyle change two years ago. Liking the changes the physical conditioning is offering, I went to work on the mental conditioning. I began reading works focusing on the psychology of running specifically, and with each workout I've been concentrating on pulling myself back to center when my mind begins to wander, going to negative thoughts. Yesterday, the bringing myself back to center kicked in when I needed it most. What that did for me, spurring me on to try and achieve my goal, showed me how crucial the mental game is.

Now I'm looking forward to the Miller Zoo Stampede, my first 5k for the year. I'm going into it with a couple of goals: finishing sub-30 minutes, which I know already I can do since I did it once before, but even more importantly, simply enjoying the run, the benefits it offers to my health and sense of well-being.


Black Knight said...

I agree, simply enjoying the run is the right approach.
Good luck on the 5k, I am sure you will run a fast race.

JK said...

Simply enjoying the run has been elusive, but I found myself grinning like a fool this morning on the treadmill as I plugged along, just happy to be able to.