It’s been a minute since I ran my 10-mile race but wanted to “close the loop” on it.
I started training for the Levi’s Presidio 10 Mile run in August. It would be my first race since the NY Marathon in November 2019 and I was, in full disclosure, not in a good running mindset or in good running shape. But we start where we start, right?
Training went as training does. Good runs. Great runs. Bad runs. This is something that for new runners I always stress. You will have days where you feel like you can go for hours and days that you run around the block and wonder what the actual fresh hell you have entered. It’s all part of the process.
My race day was October 3rd and what was supposed to be an in-person event was changed to a virtual race. In the end, I decided to go with a 10 mile out and back course that I’d done a lot of times and that I mostly enjoy. I had also had a really good training run on this course so I figured it would be good mojo for a repeat.
The route started at the Marin side of the Golden Gate Bridge, across the bridge and down to the water, and ran along the path past Chrissy Field and over to the Marina Green. I followed the path past the Safeway, up the hill above Fort Mason, down the other side. Midway across Aquatic Park, you turn around to head back to the start.
I was really pleased with my race. I felt strong, I felt consistent and I felt like I was well trained for the distance. I didn’t run fast and I added some more walking breaks than I would in a “race” but my goal all along was just to do the damn thing, so that’s what I did.
This race also gave me a bit of fire in my belly for more races so I’m going to nail down some races in December and January to keep me motivated and consistent with my training.
If you’ve been having a hard time getting back to running or riding, on the yoga mat, or going for your daily walks, here are some tips.
Set a Goal
Pick a race, aim to do 15 workouts this month, hop on your Peloton for 20 rides, hit 10,000 steps each day, etc.
You can’t just hope that the work will get done. Schedule your workout in your day and then do the things that will support your efforts.
Reverse Engineer Excuses
“I don’t have enough time” is one of the most common excuses for not exercising. Having a goal will help provide some motivation but it won’t do the trick every time. Take a look at when you want to exercise and then see what you can to support your ability to do it. Will it help to layout your workout clothes the night before? Make lunches after dinner, get the coffee pot set up, go to bed or get up 10 minutes earlier? Find out what works for you and give it a shot.
Reflect on Your Successes
Success breeds better behaviors. If you are having good results from your training (you feel stronger, you are running faster, your rides are getting easier) it will encourage you to keep doing the thing. After you have a good workout, give yourself a high five, make note of what went well, and sit in that good feeling for a beat. Remembering how good you feel will help you if you’re having a rough day or rough workout down the road.
Most importantly, staying consistent, most of the time will yield the best results. So don’t give up.
Now go run!