When I ran cross country as a freshman in high school, I was completely clueless about racing. In junior high, I’d just go out and run and I was always on of the Top 10 girls at the meet. Always.
So why would I need strategy?
Oh. Because high school cross country was serious business. Not only was it all about “CONFERENCE, REGIONALS, SECTIONALS, STATE!” but scholarships that might lead to pro bids or even the Olympics, were on the line for some athletes.
Not for me. Never for me. But I did happen to run on the same team as some pretty fast girls who still kick butt.
Anyway, my coach that year taught me how to really run a race. He always stood at the halfway mark (1.5 miles–my, how times have changed!) and shout at us to SURGE! PUSH! KICK IT IN! for about 100 meters.
Why? What the heck, Coach Mustache, I’m only halfway there! Ahhhh, there was a method to his madness.
Halfway there is not THERE. You are not near the finish. You are not even close. Halfway there is mental.
No matter the distance, halfway into a race is when the real race starts. It’s the point in the race that you either start to make a move or it all falls apart. You either choose to refocus or get bogged down in having so. much. farther. to go.
You either surge or you bonk.
Things to do halfway into a race:
- Start focusing more on your form.
- Surge for a little bit and then find your pace again.
- Make a mental note of what the rest of your miles should look like and commit to getting there.
- Zone out the noise and hone in on your race.
- Work harder.
The second half of anything is always harder.
The second half of a marathon beats the crap out of you. The second half of grad school is irritating and tedious. Halfway through training means you haven’t even hit your longest runs of the cycle. The second half of pregnancy is heavier and even more (really?) exhausting…something to look forward to. The second half of a 5K makes you want to vomit.
But here’s the thing, once you push past that halfway point, every step you take gets you closer to the finish line. Cliché though it might be, it’s the truth. So don’t give up. Work harder. Surge. Push.
Suck it up. You’re halfway there.
Now go out and run.
What tricks do you use to stay focused and on target at the halfway point of a race–or life? Impart your wisdom on me! I’m halfway through EVERYTHING right now!