I ran the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure this morning. I haven’t been running much lately, but wanted to do it to kick off my race season and also to honor my old neighbor, Darla Colton, who passed away just last week after a long battle with breast cancer.
I was supposed to have a few buddies for this race, but they all bailed so it was just me and the music ipod.
I felt really good this morning and once I put my headphones on and got in the zone, I was more than ready to run this race. After bustling through the crowds, I finally got into a good pace. I, stupidly, forgot my HRM, so I didn’t know my exact pace, but I had my cell phone so I kept track of time with that. I started out the race FAST and actually didn’t let up at all until probably half way through mile 2. Even then, I only let up a little bit, and picked it back up as soon as we turned the last corner. Throughout the race I kept finding people that I wanted to pass. As soon as I passed them, I would find my new victim 🙂 My final time, although I don’t know the EXACT seconds, was 25:30 (ish)!
That is the fastest 5k race I have ever done, and I felt pretty good throughout the whole thing. It made me realize that by strengthening my lower body and adding plyometrics, although I don’t run very often, I have still made significant progress in my running. I definitely pushed as hard as I could. When it was getting tough, I just kept thinking about Darla and how if she could battle CANCER, I could sure as hell battle the fatigue to push through this race quickly.
I finished happily and began the walk back to the car. Along the way I realized something.
Epiphany: I thought about the fact that (in my opinion) 80% of exercise and being in shape is mental. Of course, you get in better shape by pushing yourself , working hard, and repetition, but the hardest of all of those is pushing yourself. It made me realize that the strength to push yourself is what takes you to the next level. Sure, your muscles grow, they retain muscle memory, they function more properly through exercise, but if you don’t have the power to push yourself, it doesn’t matter HOW strong or in shape you are.
The stronger you are mentally, the better you will become whether it is running, lifting weights, swimming, etc.
I can confidently say that I pushed myself HARD in this race today. Being able to push yourself is like anything else. It takes practice, persistence, and the willingness to step out of your comfort zone. Even if for just a moment or two, those moments will add up.
Have a wonderful Sunday! 🙂