By some sort of twisted miracle, I pulled out an 18:21 at the Troy Turkey Trot on Thursday. I also followed through on my promise to not wear a watch. Since I’ve had a few days to reflect on my race, I though I’d share some of my secrets to racing fast when not in ideal shape.
1. Have fun. I mean it. When undertrained, there’s very little pressure so enjoy yourself. The turkey trot that I run is on an out-and-back course, and I smile all the way back after the turn around. I love the cheers from the crowd and try to return the favor if I can get a few words out.
2. Experiment. Give yourself something new to focus on and get out of your normal racing rut. I did not wear my watch for this race. I focused on competing, and didn’t even think about my time. I’m normally concerned/ obsessed with my first mile split, but it’s more important to focus on your own race, not the clock!
3. Don’t worry about the stuff you can’t control. My mileage leading up this race was: 50, 53, 35, 54, 26, 21, and this past week I hit 33. I had planned 7 weeks starting at 50 and working up to 65, followed by a one week taper of 35. Ha. But there’s no use in thinking about your jacked up marathon training before the start of a 5k. Worst case scenario you have to endure 10 minutes of pain… So that’s all you have to think about. Easy as pumpkin pie. With homemade whipped cream, of course.
4. Manage your pre-race nerves. I do two things: I warm up much closer to my actual race so I don’t have time to freak out (30 minutes before vs. 45-60) and I use magic sports psychology AKA Believe I Am cues. For this race, I focused on being “grateful” for my ability to bounce back after illness.
5. Suck it up. When you get to that point in the race where you’re like (inner voice): “Hmm.. Should I pass this person now or just wait until the last .1?” The answer is, “go now!!” You don’t ever want to cross that finish line feeling like you could have given more, do you?
So that’s pretty much it. I will probably blog once more before the marathon next weekend with a few last minute thoughts. Keep your fingers crossed for me that my doctor’s appointment goes well on Tuesday and the chest X-ray looks perfect! Also, I apologize for the mini-blogs without pictures, but I’ve been blogging from my iPad while traveling and sadly can’t upload photos.
How was your Thanksgiving? Are you excited for cyber Monday tomorrow? What do you have to be “grateful” for?