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Posts Tagged ‘track practice’

I went to the track practice on Wednesday ready to walk.  My blisters had healed, and I was ready to use this new “it doesn’t matter if I’m slow” philosophy on the track.

Things started out ok; I walked 3 times around the track without much complaint.  I mean, my calves always give me some pain and cramping, but I’m getting used to pushing through this.

Then we met up in a group and the coach told us that today we were going to work on building speed.  He told us he wanted us to start off slowly and gradually gain speed with each lap. Using this method, we’d be able to conserve our energy throughout the endurance event and would be able to sustain ourselves in order to finish strong.  This made sense to me because I always feel better at the end of my long Saturday walks than I do at the beginning.

I began on the slow lap and found my right foot cramping at the arch, but I wanted to push through it.  I completed the first lap in a reasonable amount of time (I can’t remember right now), and then during the 2nd lap, I began getting numb in my right foot.  Still, I tried to increase my speed, and when I rounded lap 2, my time came in at 9:45, which is great for me.  Then lap 3 came and I was really numb.  I can’t tell you how discouraging this was.  Usually it takes a couple of miles before I get numb, but today it was starting really early.

I tried my best to keep going, but the pain became too much.  I had to stop at the conclusion of my 3rd lap.  I removed my shoes, told one of the coaches what was going on, and tried a few of the foot stretches that she suggested.  I was getting so discouraged, because no matter how much I try to change my attitude about not worrying about being slow, this pain was getting to me.  Not only does it hurt (obviously!), but it keeps me from practicing, which is what I need to do in order to get better in my training.  I started thinking, “if I’m going numb at 3/4 of a mile, how the hell am I ever going to be able to complete a half marathon?”

I didn’t walk anymore that night, and took time to chat with Kelly about what had happened.  She said she thought I should go to the running store and see what they thought about the way my shoes were laced, whether or not they were the right fit, etc.  I decided that I’d go to the store the next day during my prep period, since the running store is close to my school.

I did stay to complete the core work, which always makes me feel good.  I don’t love doing the plank, but at least it’s a move I can do.  I may not do it perfectly or well, but I can do it without pain.  Yes, it makes me sore, but soreness and pain are definitely two different things.  I wanted to stay and do the core workout to help myself feel like I had tried my best that night.

The thing that worried me about the numbness was the fact that it was occurring so much sooner.  Whatever was causing the numbness was getting worse, and I wondered what that meant.  It’s so frustrating not knowing what is causing so much pain.

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The distance is nothing. It’s only the first step that’s important.” – Marquise Du Deffand

Tonight I had another TNT track training.  Forget the fact that it was drizzly outside, I wasn’t looking forward to tonight’s practice because they were going to time it.  They said they wanted to get our baseline beginning speeds.

Ugh.  It was reminiscent of jr. high gym class when you had to be in relay teams.

The whole time I was walking the mile, I kept saying to myself, “I hope I’m not last, I hope I’m not last.” I was pushing myself to go as fast as I could go without having too much pain.  They told us what our time was at each lap, and and each lap I lost a bit more speed.

As I rounded the 4th lap, the one-mile finish line, I was dead last.  By a lot.  My time was 18:59, which is actually a really good time for me.  But I was LAST.  Everyone cheered me on and told me how great I did.  “Lookin’ good.”  “Way to go, Bella!”  “You look beautiful out there – great arms!” They complimented my “sticktoitiveness” and asked how my feet were doing.  (No swelling tonight, thank goodness).  No matter what accolades they gave me, I just kept thinking to myself, “you lost, you came in last.”

Then I did the cool down lap and got very emotional halfway through.  As the tears formed, I thought of my uncle, in whose honor I’m doing the race.  I also thought of all the people that have contributed money in support of my goal of competing in the half marathon.  I reminded myself that no matter how far behind the others I was tonight, I was a lot faster than I’ve been before.  So many people are supporting me in this effort through their donations and through their good thoughts, and I don’t want to let them down.  I won’t let them down by coming in last at a practice, I’ll let them down if I let negative thoughts derail my progress.

I spoke to my parents on my way home in the car, and both of them were impressed with my time.  When I broke down crying, complaining about the fact that I was last (I know, I know, can I get any more like a jr. high kid?)  they both told me to stop it.  That I should be so proud of myself, because they were proud of me, and that there was no where to go but up.  Which is so true.

My time tonight was much better than my time on Saturday, and the more I practice, the more I will improve.  I really have to try not to let this get to me as much as it does.  I need to let my competitive side work for me, not against me.  The people who are practicing with me might be twice my age, but all of them are far more fit than I am, and many of them have trained for numerous other races.  I’m a beginner, and I can’t expect to be perfect out of the gate.

I walked two miles tonight; two Wednesdays ago I wasn’t walking at all.  That’s awesome progress, if you think about it!

As the quote says, the first step is what’s important.  Tonight was my first step, and even if I keep coming in last, as long as I complete the task in front of me, I have to be proud I took it.

first-step-logo-web-colors

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