It's that time of the year when all of us athletes come back to school and do a test that causes us to push our bodies past the limit. Our lungs feel like they are bleeding and our legs go numb, however we come back time after time and willingly run our dreaded run tests. So, what goes through our minds when were preparing for it? It goes a little something like this...
- Receiving your workout packet. This is when you get super motivated and begin to speak of making the run test fear you. Deep down we all know this will last about a week. But hey, we all have to start somewhere.
- The first week of your packet. This is when you begin to question if your recent late night food choices have been worth it? But then, by the time you finish your workout for the day, you realize that yes, yes that cookout tray at 2:30 A.M. was worth it.
- The vacation week. The week every college student, actually, anyone looks forward to. It’s a break from those high school friends that you have no longer anything in common with except you are the same age. Most importantly it’s a time when you can go a little bit easier with your conditioning. Or self torture, whatever you prefer. After a few days, you begin to realize you can not live this life and you accept your fate. So, the next morning you hit the beach before anyone in your family wakes up and you run. Run until you can no longer feel your legs.
- The mid-summer slump. At this point you are convinced that even though you work out every day you feel in the worst shape of your life. However, you are not. This is just your brain telling you that it needs a day to catch up and recover from all the hard work you have put in. So, go ahead and that that well deserved day break. If you want to get a little crazy, go ahead and eat extremely unhealthy. Indulge in your favorite comfort foods. Yes, that Toll House cookie dough bucket has not forgotten about you.
- Second Wind. This is similar to receiving your workout packet feeling. At this point you are refocused and ready to become super human like Simone Biles.
- The Panic. This occurs within the last month for some and others may not panic until the last two weeks. At this point regardless of the amount of work you put into conditioning you just seem to not feel confident at all with the run test. You are basically already preparing for the consequence run that will occur after you fail the test. During this period one will usually go through the stages of grief. Once you’ve hit acceptance the panic begins to subside. Go ahead and pick the Ben and Jerry’s back up cause having a little at night wont keep you from passing.
- The night before. This is one of the more anxious filled nights’ athletes experience that is not cause by our professors. You are staying up carefully calculating the slowest time you can be at a certain point and if you keep that pace still pass. Or strategizing if you are just going to go as hard as you can on all of them or miss the one right before the extra minute break so you can in theory recover longer. Ultimately when you are in the middle of the run test all of your late night strategizing will go out the window on that first whistle. Instead, go drink tons of water, eat a banana and call it a night.
Remember, even if you don’t pass, it is okay. The world will not stop. You worked as hard as you could all summer and if you didn’t then well, best of luck to you. Regardless, you all will kill it and stay positive!