Organic Runner Mom

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Nerves and Time Trials

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.

Anything's Possible If you've Got Enough Nerve–J.K. Rowling

Anything’s Possible If you’ve Got Enough Nerve–J.K. Rowling

How do you push through the nerves and anxiety that you experience pre-race or pre-time trial?

Boston Marathon Training-December 5th

My Workout:

Base Run

Time: 53 Minutes on a gentle trail

Distance: 4.75 Miles


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