Written by George Garcia
I started my training today for the Irvine Mud Run. I only have five weeks left to prepare myself both mentally and physically for the three mile run. I have been running two miles three times a week and will now push myself to three miles four times a week. Along with running, I will also play basketball twice a week, but that probably won’t help me in the Mud Run.
I grabbed my iPod and headphones and headed towards the track. I laced up my black Adidas shoes and stretched out. After tuning to some Anberlin, I began my first lap. Half way through this first lap I decided to run for time—I actually recorded my best mile time this year at 7 minutes 23 seconds. I walked over to the fountain for a quick drink before my second mile. I was exhausted after mile number two, but pushed myself for one last round. Upon reaching the finish line I collapsed on the bench and threw my shoes off. After lying there for a few seconds, exhausted and drenched in glorious sweat, I gathered my belongings and walked to my car. Thank God I got a parking pass from Campus Safety! God must have shown me grace that night, because not only did I get a parking pass for my car, but I also found a parking spot close to my apartment. After a successful night I jumped in bed for a four-hour nap, after a shower of course.
My first day of official training is complete. I think my training next week will incorporate real mud and a hula hoop!
As important as the physical aspect of training is, the mental aspect is equally crucial. For the physical aspect, I played basketball for two hours and then ran three miles on the track. Today I learned a valuable lesson. As I was running the second mile, focused on running the eight straight laps without a rest, I heard someone call out my name. I wasn’t sure so I turned to look and sure enough, a friend was walking on the track. I have not seen this friend in quite some time. At that point I had a choice: continue running to reach my goal or slow down and say hi. I ended up slowing down to say hello to this friend. As I slowed down to say hello to this friend, I pictured someone stuck in the mud and unable to break free.
My encounter with this friend at the track taught me that I cannot be so concerned with personal goals that I forsake people. I learned two lessons: one, people are far more important than personal goals. Two, never play basketball before running three miles. Another successful training day complete.
Three3-mile runs and tough workouts at the gym are all well and goodgood, but I needed something with attitude –. I need something something to push me over the top and give me the confidence and drive to perform. The answer? Campbell’s Cchunky Ssoup was what I needed. After all, they’re this soup is the official soup sponsored by the NFL. Even Donovan McNabb and Michael Strahan drink I have even seen commercials with NFL players, professional athletes this soup, at least, according to the commercials.
So I went to the store and bought fives cans of Campbell’s Chunky Soup. The soup is not only, which not only contains less sodium and cholesterol than others, it but also serves as a good source of fiber and protein. This is – exactly what I needed to feel full and strong without getting weighed down. This soup would give that extra burst of energy to keep going in training.
After eating one can, I felt like I could run ten miles. Granted I didn’t run ten miles, but hey, I still felt the power. It’s the thought that counts, right? Not to mention that the soup was delicious. Two cans of soup later and here I am with a food coma. Guess I’ll be running those ten miles next week. Maybe this will put over the top. Running three miles four times a week along with Campbell’s chunky soup is exactly what I need to prepare myself for the Mud run.
Unfamiliarity and uncertainty are sure to accompany me in the Mud Run next week. I have been training to prepare myself physically, but I am also trying to prepare myself mentally. As I walked through campus today, I tried picturing what the Mud Run will look like. The weather could very well play a factor my performance. If even walking around campus with a torn meniscus in cold weather is tough, how much more will running in cold, muddy water affect my knee? Despite this, I have no doubt in my mind that I can finish the race. After all, I have been running three miles four times a week since summer. But most of this running has been on a soft track, and the Mud Run will be on squishy, uneven ground. I am a little nervous about this. Not to mention the different obstacle courses they are going to have. I will have to figure out how to be cautious throughout the race while maintaining my competitiveness.
Obstacles and walls will be my opposition at the Irvine Mud Run. I have been trying to picture these things in my daily routines—a bit difficult given that I have a flat court and flat track as my training ground. Last night as I played basketball, I tried to picture several obstacles on the court. As I stood in front of my defender, waiting to pick my next move, I saw a wall that I would have to climb over. As I drove into the lane and tried to weave my way through a group of defenders, I imagine a hay stack that I needed to jump over. Every where I go I see mud pits and obstacles. Am I going crazy? Maybe, but as long as this spells out victory then I’m fine.
Kobe Bryant with # 24, Jordan with # 23, and now me: #8926. The Irvine Mud Run is just two days away. Final preparations have begun, although I’m having trouble finding shoes to wear. All I have are Jordans and those definitely won’t work. On the flip side, I received my official Mud Run t-shirt and bib number this week. That can only mean one thing: mud is on the way. Four miles through the mud… I can almost smell the victory from here. It’s pretty much settled now that I received my official number—the official winning number.