You've been a runner for some time now, and you're starting to love it. Your weekly mileage has been steadily increasing and you feel great. Your running buddy suggested you sign up for a half marathon with her, and in a moment of excitement, you did.
You spent a day or two flying high with the anticipation of gliding across the finish line and wearing a medal around your neck, while excited fans hand you roses and pour gallons of Gatorade on your head. Well, at least that was my fantasy.
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A couple days later, fear and negativity have taken hold of you. A half marathon is 13.1 miles. Up to this point, you've never run farther than the 3-mile point by the freeway and back home.
You might be wondering what you were thinking when you typed in those credit card numbers, selected your shirt size and hit send. You might even be trying to work out a good excuse to send the race director an email so he'll refund your money.
Stop right there. Race jitters are common among first-time distance runners. Below are the top five biggest fears that you'll easily conquer before your race, if you utilize some logic and positive thinking:
Fear #1: I can't run that far.
That's just not true. If you are a healthy and somewhat experienced runner with the desire to run a half marathon, then you already have what you need. Goals are powerful tools for the mind, and your positive state of mind will be a huge part of your running success.
Thirteen miles may seem like a big number right now, but as you cover longer distances in your training, you'll start to see that number shrink. Remember when you thought three miles was far? You probably laugh at yourself now for ever thinking that.
Fear #2: I'll have no time to train.
Everybody knows that adult life is busy, even the people who write training plans. You have a job, a spouse, housework, bills, kids, and a social life, right? Well, there's still time to train for a half marathon.
Get up an hour earlier a couple times a week, make Sunday night's dinner big enough for leftovers, get off Facebook, or DVR that television show. Just make it happen. If you think about it, it doesn't take that long to bang out those miles. With a little effort, you'll find time.
With that said, stuff happens. Don't sweat it if you miss the occasional Tuesday run, or even a long run—it won't be the end of the world.