I have to admit I have become quite accustomed to my treadmill workouts for my 5k training. I love the control. I love the ease of use and the ability to calculate exactly what I have accomplished. And I love watching TV as I run. But in an effort to prepare for the outdoor run I will complete this Thursday, I’ve decided that I have to take my workouts outside.

Hold on, I have another confession. Since I live and work (out) in Boston, I don’t have access to a treadmill while I’m home at my parents’ house in Ohio, so in so many words, I MUST go outside to get in a decent run. Just so we are clear.

With less than a week to go until my race, I decided to go to the neighborhood park this weekend and test myself out in the damp and cold, late fall weather. I had anxiety about this. I knew it would be much different from running inside with the comforts of the dry and warm gym surrounding me.

As I headed out down Pickle Road (it’s real people!) I was weary about my situation. I’ve run this route before back in high school and knowing the exact route should give me confidence in my ability but for some reason it doesn’t. I sometimes let the length of the run get to me and I start to doubt my ability to finish. In any case, I started out with the goal to run 4 miles, which is one of the last workouts I am going to complete pre-race day.

During the run, I tried to think less about the route I was running and more about the things I had learned in the past couple of weeks about becoming a better runner. I concentrated on my breathing and activating my core and my glutes. To my relief, these things actually helped me finish the run and accomplish my goal for the workout. In fact, concentrating on activating these “secret weapons” made the workout feel easier. It also helped that I had my watch on while I was running as it kept me on pace. Tracking my progress and remembering my runner’s tools, built up my confidence in my ability and really made me proud about how I had trained. After this run I’m excited for this race and I look forward to seeing how I finish.

I’ll report back after Turkey Day to let you know how this gobbler finishes. : )



How do you prepare for a big race? What tools do you use to stay focused and engaged during a workout?