Run 5K: “Workout Completed.”

I’m going to cry when I cross the finish line on Sunday.

That was one of the many thoughts swirling through my brain as I did my last training run today. It’s not entirely shocking, since I’m a crier. I think I cried more when Michael Phelps won his last gold medal than he did. This moment still makes me well up. (Spoiler alert: I did NOT make it through this post without crying.)

But I remember a few months ago when I decided to scroll to the end of the training program in my app and saw that the last day call for me to run 30 minutes without stopping. I laughed when I saw that, knowing how much I was struggling just to run 2-3 minutes at a time. Running a 5K seemed more daunting then than ever before. I’d never really thought about how LONG it would take me to run 3.1 miles. The thought of just running, nothing else, for that long seemed ridiculous.

Week Eight was rough. I did Day One on Friday, feeling pretty good about running for 25 minutes without stopping. Again, I ran further on my trail before turning around than I ever had before and my playlist synced up great. Of course, my socks gave me a couple blisters, so it wasn’t all gravy. I had planned to run Day Two on the actual race course on which I’ll be running on Sunday, but I just didn’t have the motivation to go all the way out there. It was actually hot here in the City and I was not dressed properly for my workout. I had my armband for my phone, which worked great, but I was sweating buckets by the time I finished. My playlist didn’t sync up exactly how I wanted it to and by the time I got to the last song, I was ready to PASS OUT. I was out of gas and thought there was no way I could add another two minutes to that run today.

My body has clearly adapted to San Francisco’s weather because it was a brisk, foggy day when I got home from work, but I set off on my trail anyway. In 40 minutes, I covered 3.3 miles (including 5 minute walking warm up and 5 minute walking cool down). My playlist synced PERFECTLY (see below) and I felt like I hit my stride again. I was tired and a little breathless at the end of my run, but when my phone vibrated to tell me to stop running, I didn’t collapse. I actually had a little bit more in the tank! My calf is a little tight, but I’m hoping that continuing to stretch it out this week will help with that. And yes, I did tear up a little when my running coach’s voice said “Workout completed” for the last time.

Music is an integral part of this process, allowing me to focus on something else, so I don’t start thinking about how much running sucks. I’ll be tweaking this playlist a little before my race, but I really like how this worked. I noticed during Sunday’s run that the songs were getting longer as time went by, which wasn’t helping me get through the workout. I adjusted for today, using mostly 3 minute songs. That gave me a good variety of music (some with inspiration lyrics, some of a good beat, some with both), but no song went on too long. Enjoy!

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