This weekend was the Chicago Rock N' Roll Half Marathon, a much anticipated event since last year's race. This was actually the race the spurred me to start Renner's High a few months later, and I am so grateful for that spark of inspiration. I was somehow able to crush a whopping 5 minute PR from my last PR, all while in the rain! I was a little confused at first, but it all made sense after reviewing these 3 things that I did differently from all of my other races:
1. Train for the worst
It was a rainy Saturday morning 2 weekends ago, and the last thing I wanted to was go outside and run 12 miles. I reminded myself of the qualifying time that I needed to get for the Boston Marathon, and decided to lace up my shoes. This was such a powerful run for my mental capacity, and I would not have been prepared for this weekend's race without it!
2. Visualize the Race
Most people know when it is going to rain on their parade during race-day, but most people don’t take the time to visualize themselves powering through it. I remember a distinct moment during mile 4 when the rain first started picking up strength, and a man in front of me started cussing out the rain and slowed down drastically. As I passed him, I reminded myself of the night before where I had visualized my mind and body persevering past the rain and boldly running through the finish line.
3. Encourage Others
Shortly after passing this man, I began to pace with another man who seemed to be struggling as well. I'm not going to pretend like the rain didn’t suck, because I couldn't even see and wanted to give up myself. After a few minutes next to eachother, I fist bumped him for encouragement, and he responded with the an overwhelming yell "still dry?" We both laughed and found that our pace had drastically picked up from the mutual encouragement. I can't tell you how many times I have intentionally encouraged others to gain strength after seeing them pick it up themselves. This is a powerful strategy of running that makes me love the community so much more.
If you are ever upset about the weather raining on your race-day parade, just remind yourself that a PR is VERY possible, especially if you use the strategies above. May the wind be forever at your back.