APRIL 30TH 2014

BY COACH PATRICK HAMMOND

BRIANA RYAN’S 10K DEBUT

Although Briana left her home at 5:00 AM alone, upon arrival she felt a “really awesome sense of community” that was “completely different than any spirit of competition [she] had expected.”


As the start of the race drew near, just as new and veteran runners alike experience, Briana began to feel her nerves kick into high gear.


“Standing towards the back of the giant crowd, I found myself actually shaking all over, which I attribute to being nervous, but also because it was cold (at least to me). This is when my thoughts started running wild. ‘What if I’m last?, What if I experience so much pain I have to stop?, There’s a strange feeling in my quad. Great. What if it hurts me the entire race?’”


The course was to run to a bridge and come back. From where Briana was standing, the bridge started to look pretty far away. Once the gun went off, though, the stress subsided. She remembered that she actually enjoyed running and lost herself in the race.


“I’m used to running by myself, so seeing everyone running all around me put my crazy mind at ease and actually made me feel safe. I said, ‘So what?’ to all the worries I had before and just took in everything going on around me.”


As fatigue set in late into the race, Briana focused on the sense of accomplishment she would feel once she crossed the line only a mile away. The roar of the crowd propelled her to the end, feeling both excited and relieved.


“It’s weird to think that I didn’t really feel pain anymore. Instead of feeling tired I actually felt like I could run to that damn bridge and back again.”


The bridge no longer seemed so far away.


When I first started training Briana just over two months ago she was anxious about running more than a couple miles. On Sunday, however, through proper training, attention to detail, and patience Briana finished her first official 10k race as an Educated Runner in a time of 54:14.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Coach Hammond

Coach Patrick Hammond earned his Masters Degree in Sports and Performance Psychology from the University of the Rockies. He is a USA Track and Field Level 1 certified coach.


As a runner in college he competed at Western Kentucky University, where he helped his team win a Division IA Cross Country Sun Belt Conference Championship.

This past Sunday EduRunner, Briana Ryan, competed in her first ever 10k, and race for that matter. For Briana the week before her race was quite the roller coaster ride of emotions. She felt excited, but also anxious.


At times she became so caught up in all that could go wrong that she almost forgot the main goal of her debut- to have fun.

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