On my way to 6.2, miles that is

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“If you want it bad enough, you’ll make it happen.” A recent motivational quote from a fitness trainer that I came across this afternoon and seemed fitting. I had started writing a post about eating well (something that’s been a struggle with all the BBQs of late), but I’ve decided instead to share some lessons learned since signing up for the Marine Corps 10K. The race is the last weekend in October, so I’ve got roughly 3.5 months to prepare both physically and mentally to run 6.2 miles–each mile in less than 15 minutes per the race rules. While this sounds somewhat daunting, I’m actually very much enjoying the challenge. For those out there that know me, determination is not a quality I lack. Over the last two weeks I’ve been running at least two, if not three, times a week, increasing mileage every week and trying to keep my splits (time per mile) within 15-20 second of each other. I’m already at about four miles with splits under 11 minutes. There is still a long road ahead. The hottest time of the year in Washington, DC, is fast approaching making running outdoors especially taxing. The running has to get done though, and I’ve had to suffer a bit in order to keep up with the training I’ve set up for myself. Now, I’m not a novice runner. I’ve been running as part of sports and exercise for most of my life. Yet, I still find myself not being as thoughtful as I could be when it comes to planning. Otherwise known as learning the hard way. Three things I don’t recommend:

1) Running mid-day without a hat or sunglasses.

2) Eating Mexican food for lunch.

3) Wearing shorts that are too loose.

Running is difficult enough, and this is coming from someone who actually likes running. You don’t want to be distracted by burning eyes (sweat and sunscreen dripping down your face), an upset stomach (who knew queso sits in your tummy for so long…), or clothing that rides up with every step. Some level of discomfort is just the name of the game. Whatever you can do though to minimize unnecessary discomfort, I highly suggest you do so before you get miles into your run with your watch or iPhone app ticking away. Wishing you could run with your eyes closed or that you could take your shorts off (yes, that’s how I felt last night and no I will NEVER wear those shorts again), takes you out of the head space you need to be in to be successful. Also, to enjoy what you’re doing. Anytime you’re not able to give your full attention to something you won’t enjoy it as fully.

It’s hard to ever be perfectly prepared. Sometimes you doing everything right and you still don’t have a great run. There’s always next time. One good thing I’ve discovered: mascara so waterproof I can sweat buckets and it doesn’t budge. I may have blurred vision and too much leg showing, but my eyelashes look damn good! At this point, I’ll take what I can get.

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