Thursday, September 17, 2009


In a word: yes. I am nervous.

I was nervous (and somewhat discouraged) when I realized that I was running a 12-minute mile. But then I read the comments from some of my lovely readers, and I realized that I’m OK. Running at a comfortable speed for me is just fine! I don’t need to be a speed demon!

I went for my last run before the big day this morning. I woke up at 5:15 and was out the door by 5:30. It was still dark out, which was actually really soothing. The sun wasn’t beating down on me. There were hardly any people awake and about. I just concentrated on my music and my workout.

The whole thing was coming pretty easy to me, which is just CRAZY because I never EVER thought I’d enjoy running. The first mile was a good warmup. The second mile was a little bit more difficult but still relatively easy. I don’t even remember the third mile!

I always thought it was nuts when people would say that they enjoyed running because they loved how it freed their mind. Ha! Yea right! There is no way my mind could be free while running. I'm thinking about my breathing, my legs getting tired, wanting to stop at the end of each song on my iPod.

But not this time. Like I said, I don’t really remember the final mile of my run. It was relaxing until the last segment when I really pushed myself to the finish line (aka the intersection where my route begins and ends). What a neat feeling! I got to go with it and not think about a thing! I’m pumped that I’ve incorporated running into my life, and I’m looking forward to my next freeing experience.

I pushed stop on my watch, and I’d completed the three-mile trek in 34 minutes! Almost 2.5 minutes less than my last three-miler! I didn’t want to set a time goal for my first 5K, but I was secretly hoping to finish closer to 30 minutes than 40 minutes. Anything 34:59 and faster would be A-OK with me. And now I know I can do it! So, after this morning’s run, I was no longer nervous.

I was sweaty, tired and happy! Nervousness gone.

Until I found out that the majority of Saturday’s 5K is uphill. COME ON! (To be read like Gob, for all you Arrested Development fans out there.) I figured it would be hilly, but “hilly” should include downhill, don’t you think?? Grrrr. I haven’t really worked on my uphill skills. Nervousness returns.

This uphill business hasn’t been confirmed. Just hearsay at this point, but still, I wouldn’t be surprised.

I know that it’s OK to walk for a moment and get back to running.

I know that the time it takes me to finish doesn’t matter.
But it kinda matters to me.

My running the entire thing was my only concrete goal, and I hate not following through. The time thing doesn’t really bother me anymore, but it’s just like the number on the scale. I WANT to concentrate on how I feel rather than that silly number, but I still care about the number getting lower on the scale (slowly but surely). Just like I care a little bit about my finish time. Now that I know I can conquer the miles in 34-36 minutes, I want to be able to do it again. But running uphill? Eek. I just don’t know.

I recently subscribed to Body + Soul magazine. The last page of this month's issue has 10 Thoughts on Whole Living. Two of the points really hit home with me today.

Every moment of suffering
brings an opportunity
to build resilience.

As I’m running uphill, or just running in general, and I’m feeling like it’s getting too difficult, I need to remember that I am making myself stronger. Mind, body and soul. Every moment is worth it.

Don’t let fear of the unknown
hold you back
from making a change.

Saturday’s race stuff is all very unknown to me, and that’s soooo out of my comfort zone. I like being in control and (over)prepared. I don’t know the course. I don’t even know where to go and when to arrive! (Those last two I can determine in a jiffy, though.) The unknown course has been weighing on my mind for a while now, but this quote kinda put me at ease. I’ve made big changes in my life, and this race is a landmark occasion! I can’t let the unknown hold me back. I need to pay attention to the experience, take pride in my accomplishment, and enjoy the ride :)

This is my last post until the race. I can’t wait to let you all know how much I rocked it! My parents will be waiting for me at the finish line, and I’ll make sure they take lots of sweaty, tomato-faced pics of me. I’m looking forward to snagging my bag of apples afterward, too! There will also be apple cider available upon finishing, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be thirsting for water. But it is Applefest, after all, so maybe I should partake!

Until then, send me good thoughts!!! And thanks again for the motivation :)


  1. I am so excited for you Amanda - I wish I could be there with you as you cross the finish line.

    I am right there with you in that I like to be in control and prepared for everything.

    LOVE THE QUOTES, especially the first one!

  2. you're going to be great! i'm so proud of you already!!

    i'll be cheering you on from, well, wherever i am. ;)


  3. Thanks for the Arrested Development quote! :)

    You, my lovely, will do perfect at your race! I cant wait to hear all the details and hopefully see pics! I feel like Im living vicariously through you.

  4. You'll do great!

    I know this sounds cheesy, but enjoy the "journey!" Soak in the whole experience of the race...

    I'm excited for you! :)

  5. Be proud of yourself for even making the effort to do a 5K, regardless of how you do....but I know you will do awesome! :) I wish you the best of luck! Kick some hill butt!

  6. you WILL do great as this is all about you.
    your pace.

    Im a plodder entirely when it comes to running and really no longer give :)

    Im moving forward and that's all that matters---right?


  7. You'll do great. I am also one of the "slower" runners. Nice to see someone else out there struggling to get faster. It's not where you finish the race that's matters, it's the fact that you even began the race at all. Run like the wind!!!! (or maybe like a slight breeze?)

  8. Don't be nervous - I'm sure you will have a great race.

    I think the theory about running clearing your mind has to do with the fact you are only thinking about running and none of the other things in your life. You are just concentrating on your running, breathing, pace, etc. and nothing else.

    I can't wait to hear all about the race and see the pictures. Have fun and enjoy the apples.

  9. amanda you're going to do awesome! i'm so proud of you for doing this! eat an apple for me :)

  10. Good Luck!!! You will do AMAZING on Saturday! Can't wait for the details!!!

  11. You are going to do great, and I bet you will conquer those hills. My 5k race had hills, and what I did was kind of power walk up them and then ran quickly down them to make up for it, and I think it helped. Could you drive by the course before Saturday just to see how hilly it is? That might put your mind at ease.


  12. Amanda,
    I just wanted to wish you all the best on your run. you will do great, and you know what in the end time doesn't matter. The best feeling is crossing that finish line and remembering how far you have come, nothing else matters.
    I just ran my first 10k last weekend and I can tell you I was NOT prepared for the hills that I ran, but you know what I got through it and that's all that matters.

    You will do great, can't wait for the recap!

  13. Good luck! I'm sure you'll do great!

  14. Good luck tomorrow!! You can do it! :)

  15. Amanda, I'm so excited for you! I ran my first 5K in June and set my goal time as 40 minutes, so that gives you an idea of how slow a runner I am. :) But my time and running the entire thing were my only two goals besides having fun. Much to my surprise, I finished it in 36:00 - just like your 12 minute mile! I ran another one a couple of weeks ago and since I was sick with a cold at the time my main goal was to finish without coughing. :) But it was fun to beat my time by about 15 seconds.

    Anyway, I guess my point is that you should have fun and do your best. Since this is your first, you'll set a Personal Record! Then you can train/think about how to beat it next time, in whichever category means the most to you. I know you'll do great - congrats on such a great practice run!

    I'm hoping to up my speed a little for the next race I do (possible Thanksgiving Day), though I'm not sure how to go about it. Sounds like you've got it figured out, though!

    Good luck!! Have fun!!!

  16. You are going to do AWESOME - I am so excited that you've been bitten by the "bug". For me, I always say how much I stink at running and how bad I am at it, but truthfully, running is so good for me and really helps me feel like I've accomplished something.

    Can't wait to read the report on Monday - we're both winners this weekend for doing something outside of our comfort zone!!

  17. I can't tell you how happy I am to have read this post right now - I've been reading so many blogs where people have 8 min/miles and record breaking paces, and I'm been feeling bad about my 12-13 min/mile.

    But you are absolutely right, running at a comfortable speed is just fine!

  18. You're going to do fine -- good luck to you! Slow and steady is awesome. As hard as it sounds to be among the last few people to cross the finish line, you do it and realize that you still _crossed a finish line._ And yes, I'm speaking from experience.

    Go out there and do your thing. It's a great feeling.

  19. Best of luck Amanda! If it gets hard, just keep going! It will be over before you know it. Can't wait to hear how it goes!

  20. Good luck, you'll do great! Can't wait to hear about it. I love the ability both to do an easy run and let your mind wander and think about things, and to do a REALLY HARD run where your mind clears and you can only focus on what you're doing, even if your mind wanted to wander.

  21. Run the first mile with your legs, the second mile with your mind and the third mile with your heart.
    you'll do great!

    good luck!

  22. You sound SOOO fired up. You have had so many great firsts this year. Way to keep trying new things. Can't wait to see you cross the finish line.

    Love you,

  23. Good luck! You will do amazing I can't wait to hear all about it!!

  24. Good luck on the 5k, even though I know you won't need it!! You'll be closer to that 30 minute mark than 40 I know it! :) I look foward to hearing about your success!

  25. I hope it went well. I was nervous when I ran my first one too!

  26. I never thought I'd enjy running either! It really gets better with practice - today I ran 4mi for the first time and it actually felt great, I kept smiling throughout! Just went sloooow and didn't push myself.

    I think that you will be surpried by how you go faster in a race than you do on your own. It just happens that way! You will def achieve your goal time!

  27. Can't wait to hear how the 5k went! I'm loving reading your story via archives. I'm amazed at your transition. You look like a completely different person. Congrats on all your success!

  28. Can't wait to hear how it went!

    Thank you for posting those quotes... they hit home with me too!