Facing Fears, Reaching Goals and Great Summer Weekends

I had a great weekend. Maybe one of the best this summer. What did I do, you ask? Nothing wild and crazy like you may be thinking. I spent the weekend at my old babysitter’s house, in the suburbs, with her family and their adorable Golden Retriever.

We didn’t have any grand plans for the weekend and maybe that’s part of what I love most about visiting them. It is always a weekend full of fun, laughs and relaxation. And perhaps some wine.

After running 10 miles bright and early Saturday morning, I stretched, foam rolled, showered and made my way to Grand Central to catch Metro North and head up to their house. This weekend’s long run was pretty solid. For the first time in this training cycle, I felt as though, if I’d had more fuel with me, I could have kept going. As you can imagine, that is the BEST feeling while training for a half marathon, especially when you still have 7 weeks left to go. It was a great start to what promised to be a great weekend. I felt strong during this run. I ran one full loop of Central Park and felt as though I dominated, not only Cat Hill, but Harlem Hill AND the rolling hills, a feeling I have not felt during this training cycle, as of yet. I continued back up the East Side of the park and tackled Cat Hill once again, still feeling pretty strong. I ran back up to Engineer’s Gate, exited Central Park, and made my way across 96th Street and out to the East River running path. I don’t normally find the “hills” on the East River to be too challenging, but after 9 miles, it may as well have been Harlem Hill. I dug deep and crushed that hill too. Once I reached the stairs, around 81st Street, I knew I was about to enter the final stretch home. I was feeling great, certainly like I had just run 10 miles, but great, nonetheless. I was proud of this run, proud of myself and proud that I finished strong.

I made my way back home and immediately considered obsessed over the Bronx 10-miler.

I’ve been wavering back and forth on this race for the past few weeks. Maybe it was the EARLY 7am race start (which is now 8am), or the unfinished course map (finally finalized), but honestly, I really think it was just fear. What was I afraid of? I AM running a half marathon in 7 weeks after all. Am I scared of a new race distance? I suppose I fear that there is a big difference between running 10 miles on your own, with just Britney and Rihanna, and running a 10-mile RACE. Am I afraid I won’t be successful? I’m not sure. But something was holding me back from signing up. Fear of the unknown, perhaps. I’m not going to lie. I am one of those people that fears the unknown. I find comfort in knowing what to expect and knowing what I am getting myself into. I have only run one race outside of the comforts of Central Park. Crazy! I know. I guess, with the Newport Half Marathon only 7 short weeks away, it can only benefit me to face my fears, go outside my comfort zone and sign up for this race. So, what did I do? Being the codependent person that I am, I immediately enlisted my good old running buddy! Then this happened!

Sunday morning I knew I wanted to do a few shakeout miles; 2 miles to be exact. As I’ve said before, I typically like to spin the day after a long run, but with the constant travel during the summer weekends, I often find this very difficult. Rather than do nothing, I opt for a few, slow miles. I find that if I run 3 days a week, my body responds best, both in performance and lack of injury. Although, I figure a few, slow, shakeout miles can’t hurt too much. This 2 mile shakeout run would bring my weekly mileage to 20 miles. I haven’t had a 20 mile week in months. I know for many this is nothing and merely the length of this week’s long run as they train for the ING NYC Marathon. For me, 20 miles is a solid weekly mileage for me, for now! I asked Rachel, my old babysitter’s 14-year old daughter, if she wanted to run with me and she happily agreed. I was excited to run with her. It was not as seamless as I anticipated, but a really fun run nonetheless.

In other great summer weekend news, I reached an August goal I set for myself. If you are not familiar with Twitter, or hashtags (# is a hashtag), or what #plankaday means, let me give you a little insight. There is a movement on Twitter challenging people to do a plank each day and see how long they can hold it for. My goal was to hold a plank for 2 minutes before August was over. Well, I finally reached that goal this weekend. No matter how small a goal may be, there is still a great sense of accomplishment in reaching it.

I couldn’t have done it without my old babysitter cheering me on and this girl, of course!

I also discovered that my favorite medium on which to hold a plank is grass. Uh oh! Central Park planking in my future?

Tell Me.

Have you ever signed up for longish race on a whim? Were you nervous? How did it go?

How do you face your fears?

Have you reached a goal lately?

Did you have a great summer weekend? What did you do?

Did you have a great training run this weekend? Tell me about it!

How many running days a week keep you safely on the road?


6 thoughts on “Facing Fears, Reaching Goals and Great Summer Weekends

  1. Just remember…since it’s your first 10 mile race, you’ll automatically PR!! I’ve never done a 10 mile race before either so don’t know how to pace myself, etc…but no matter what, it’ll be a PR (at least for now)! Glad you’re doing it!!! And congrats again on your awesome 10 mile run! Can’t wait to hear about how your half goes!!!

    • I do love an automatic PR! I’m happy we are all doing the race together. Will be a fun day! I figure it’s a good test of where I am at for the half. Thank you for always cheering me on. It’s appreciated more than you know!

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