Nerves be gone!
I have to admit that yesterday I was feeling nervous about my workout. I was actually hesitating about completing my 1×8 min time trial. I felt nervous and anxious. These feelings brought me back to my days of rowing crew and the always dreaded 2000 meter Erg tests (read-evil torture machine tests). Erg testes were a necessary evil every spring when our coach was working on figuring out boat line-ups. Your erg test time was part of what would be considered when the coach determined whether or not you would make the boat or not. Before an erg test I always felt like I was in a pressure cooker and I always let my nerves get the best of me. To this day I am still not sure if I ever truly achieved my true personal best during an erg 2000 meter test.
I finally talked myself into going for my time trial and began a nice warm-up run working to stretch out my calves, quads and hamstrings. I am still experiencing extreme tightness in my left calf so am experimenting with changing up the side of road that I run on. Running consistently on the same side is definitely affecting my calf tightness and tendonitis issues.
After a half hour of running with a dynamic warm-up I put myself on the line for the time trial. I set my Garmin for 8 minutes, took a couple of deep breaths, and picked up my pace until my breathing had quickened, and the discomfort that comes with a time trial pace set in (you know that burning sensation in your lungs). I promised myself I would not look at my watch until it was over. I have discovered that I actually go harder when I don’t watch my watch. I pushed my pace, reminded myself to stay long and relaxed, to use the strength in my core and my upper body. I have to admit I cheated and looked at my watch with 2 minutes to go, seeing my pace was sub 7 minutes I was psyched, and pushed harder for the last two minutes. My finish pace revealed a 6:57 minute per mile pace. My breathing was fast and my heart was pounding. I was stoked when I saw my results. I was happy that I had pushed through my nerves and allowed my body to perform.
During the past couple of years I have been working hard to push through my mental barriers. I have been working on calming the anxiety and using the nervous energy for the purpose of propelling me to stronger finishes. After completing a running time trial yesterday similar to those feared 2000 meter erg tests I am tempted to hop on and give one a try (in secret) to see if I have the determination and guts to go for it on the erg like I have now found that I can do on the road.
How do you push through the nerves and anxiety that you experience pre-race or pre-time trial?
Boston Marathon Training-December 5th
Time: 53 Minutes on a gentle trail
Distance: 4.75 Miles