If you’re a runner in Indiana, and if friends and family know you’re a runner in Indiana, what question do you start hearing as the month of May gets closer?? “Are you running The Mini?” Here in Indiana, EVERYBODY knows what “The Mini” is. It’s only the largest half marathon around. It’s the 500 Festival Mini Marathon. It’s that 13.1 miles that’s run on the first Saturday of May that takes you around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I’ve run this race 18 times. I’ve run both my fastest and my slowest half marathon times at this event.
Training plans for this race usually begin in February and weekly long runs get back on the calendar if you’ve taken a little break. EVERYBODY knows it’s that time of year. In April you have your last long run followed by your taper. Even though the big day is looming, you have to slow down and reduce mileage. Any good training plan includes this very important piece…..that taper, that slow down. You have to have this so you’ll be ready for the big day. So your mind and body will be prepared.
It seems the month of December and the Christmas season comes with much of the same excitement and anticipation as does preparing for “the mini”. Children start making their lists. Parties are planned. Shopping commences. So much to do. So much to take in. Excitement fills the air. There is the Christmas countdown. The advent calendars. Cooking baking. Present wrapping. Black Friday. Cyber Monday. The list could go on and on. Everything is big and bright. There are jingles and bells. Of course this is a fun time. It’s a joyous time. It’s a hope-filled time. It’s a time filled with laughter and good cheer. But the time is “filled”. It’s “full”. Our racing preparation is full as well with intervals, long runs, cross training, hill repeats, stretching. But we also need to keep our head in the game and not get too caught up with all the expectation and everyone else’s goals. In much the same way, may I also suggest that we need to take time to focus our attention inward and what matters most in our homes during this Christmas season?
How can we do that? It’s all about tapering. It’s about slowing down and making time to quiet our hearts. For a marathon taper, athletes are advised to stick to a good sleep schedule. Continue to fill your body with proper nutrition. Fill their mind with positive thoughts and encouraging words.
Let’s do that over the couple of weeks prior to our big day……to Christmas!
Get proper rest.
Fill your body with proper nutrition.
Spend time with the ones you love.
Fill your mind with the Word.
- “When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.” Matthew 2:10
- “And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” Luke 2:10
- “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
- “For unto us a child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
May your December be filled with anticipation as well as times of calm and quiet reflection.
What is a big race that you do every year? What do you do to prepare for a big race?