The stage is set. The training is done and all that is left is time leading to a line on the asphalt.
On Saturday morning a small group of runners will meet in a parking lot to run the 5k distance on the Lenoir Greenway trail. The course consists of a long downhill at the start leading to a flat and fast course which returns to the same hill and the same parking lot.
This will be my third consecutive year running this race. It serves as an indicator for how the winter running went for all involved. With this year's season being so heavy with snow, wind and cold, it will be interesting to see who was brave enough to get in their training and who developed a deeper relationship with oreos and popcorn... a time for everything:)
The previous two years I was in the introductory phase of training. Maybe I had a couple of 40 mile weeks logged, definitely nothing fast and 8 miles was about the longest run completed.
This year is different for me. At this point, I have a solid 14 months of 50+ mile weeks. Not a huge base in the grand scheme of things, but enough to run a quality race. I have even kept up some informal speed work this winter in the form of fartleks and tempo runs whenever weather allowed it. This approach kept things fun and my motivation to train and race is high right now.
So, as I still myself mentally and allow for the crescendo of spirit to bring the best from within on race day, I review what I have done thus far to make my self better and how that can translate to a positive result for racing. I focus on the internal aspects, the courage to accept the discomfort; to surpass that trivial detail, that gatekeeper and reaching beyond it to achieve something wonderful.
I encourage this approach each day. To shunt those external influences toward productive internal belief in the only thing we really have control over.