Ahh, it’s summer, without a doubt, my favorite time of year. I am happy to have chosen a career that allows me relative freedom for two glorious months. The minute I am no longer required to go to an office each day, I am in summer mode. This results in an interesting mix of complete laziness and frantic motivation. I am terribly lazy about anything work related. I have a pile of professional books I know I won’t read, I can barely get myself to open a work-related email and prepping for next school year…forget it.
On the contrary, I’m filled with energy when it comes to cleaning my house, reorganizing my closets and playing with my kids. I can’t wait to tackle all of the projects I put off during the school year and pretend for a while that I am a stay at home mom. This frenzy of motivation extends to my exercise program, and just in time, too. I’m a week and a half away from my Fourth of July 5k and I am nearly ready.
The Lake City Greatest Fourth in the North 5k is a bit of a family tradition. The sportier ones among us, my sister, my brother, my husband, run pretty much every year. My parents, committed power walkers, always enter and finish in first or second place. My participation has been a little spotty. Depending on what stage of child rearing I happened to be in–pregnant and not interested, recently pregnant and too out of shape, waking up with crying kids and just too exhausted, or unwilling to miss the joy of kids in bed and open wine and, as a result, too hung over to even stand at the finish line– I’ve often not been a competitor on race day. Last year I was out of excuses. It was my first attempt to run. I’d almost rather reveal my weight then my time from last year, but because I’m hoping to crush this “record” I will tell you: 33:55 minutes.
This year is different. Last year, I was just hoping to be able to make it the whole way without stopping. This year, I’ve been completing a hilly 5k course in under 30 minutes. I am definitely more prepared. I have also recently begun doing the Insanity Workout and suddenly my running has improved. So, either Jeff is right and high intensity circuit training really does improve cardio endurance. Or running, when compared with the exhausting Insanity work-outs, just isn’t that hard. In any case, running is easier than it has ever been for me.
So, with a week of training left, I have a plan.
- Add music to my run. I may be the last person on the planet to lack an iPod and I need to rectify that before race day. (Thank you Kelli who ran a 5k in 24 minutes…I’ll follow any advice you give!)
- Work on my form. My husband runs like a gazelle and from what he tells me, I don’t. I continue to work on my posture and being light on my feet. (Thank you, Jeff.)
- Keep doing Insanity. (Thank you, Jen, you were right.)
- Work on my breathing techniques. (Thank you, Shaun T from my Insanity videos, the deep inhale quick exhale does wonders.)
- Practice my mantra, “I’m okay right now,” to keep me from getting overwhelmed by the distance. (Thank you, Toree, for loaning me that technique.)
- Think of myself as a runner. (For this I must thank Ang who never thought she was a runner but recently ran a half-marathon on The Great Wall of China. Looks like we can decide to be anything we want.)
It takes a village to raise a child and apparently it takes the same to get me ready for a 5k but come race day, I will be ready.