Running and Racing Fearless

fearlessThis weekend I have my first 5K since I started training to race the 5K—and I’m getting nervous!

About a month ago I started getting coaching advice from our own Runner’s World coach (and 2:13 marathoner) Budd Coates. I needed help because I honestly had no idea where to begin with 5K training. I knew I would need to push myself and I’d be running a lot more speed workouts than I’m used to but I needed guidance as to how to actually construct a training week. And boy did I get it from Budd.

He’s handed me weekly plans I never thought would be possible for me. I’m talking about workouts with paces as low as 6:20. But I’ve surprised myself and I’ve nailed those workouts without a problem. They’re hard. My legs feel it afterwards. But I know it’s working.

Going into Sunday’s race, I know my biggest obstacle won’t be trying to hit my goal pace but rather overcoming my fear. I’m afraid to line up too close to the starting line because I don’t want to be in anyone else’s way. I’m afraid to see those paces flash across my watch in case I don’t hit the right pace. I’m afraid that I’ll miss my goal and be disappointed in the outcome.

But none of that matters because 5K training isn’t marathon training. I only know what it’s like to train hard for a race that is left to chance at the end of the day. I only know what it’s like to follow a plan for four months only to not be able to go to the bathroom on race morning and cramp up at mile 15. Training for a 5K isn’t like that.

It’s hard and more challenging (for me) than training for a marathon but I’m enjoying it so much more. If I can’t overcome my fears on Sunday and really lay it all on the line, it’s not a big deal. I’ll be fully recovered by next Tuesday and have two more 5Ks coming up in the next month to test my fears again.

So far, I like 5K training and I’m just looking forward to running fearless this weekend.

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