A new struggle is erupting in my mind in my quest to run my first 5K in the middle of December. I do two different running routines: one is what I call an “easy run”. The other is what I call a “hard run.” The easy run is a 2 mile run-walk using the C25K app. I follow the routine in the app except when I get to the cool down, I run it instead of walk it. I can accomplish those 2 miles in roughly 30 minutes. The hard run is a 3 mile walk-run. I always start by running a full mile, then I decide how to handle the last 2 miles, but I always try to get plenty of running in, enough that I am running at least 2 of the 3 miles. This usually takes me closer to 50 – 55 minutes. Now, I know that I am probably running slower on the hard days to conserve energy because I know I have further to go, but I am having a hard time getting over the mental hurdle of being more tolerant of the (slow) pace of a 15 minute mile and less tolerant of the (even slower) pace of an 18 minute mile. I need to eventually get to the point where I can run 3 miles, not combo run-walk it, so I keep telling myself the pace right now doesn’t matter; all that matters is that I can run the race and finish it. But I also keep telling myself that running the race in 50 minutes isn’t good enough; 45 minutes needs to be the max. Boy, I talk to myself a lot, don’t I?????
I’m amazed at how significant the mental part of this process is. I knew the physical part would be challenging, but I never counted on having so many self-doubting thoughts or continuing to think what I am doing isn’t good enough. Preparing myself for this is pushing me physically, and it sure is pushing me mentally, too!