If you’ve been following the blog, then you read about my weight loss between January and April. After that, I set my next goal–a 5K.
Before I discuss the 5K, I need you to know that I was one of those people that automatically said “I’m just not a runner” when the subject of running came up. “I just wasn’t built for that,” I would say. And I really believed it. Now I know the secret–running isn’t easy for most people. Running is almost totally a mental challenge. When I figured this out, it motivated me even more.
When I first started training for the Run the Quay 5K (which starts a few feet from our front door!), I thought “going running” was an ordeal, something to struggle through and plan for. You couldn’t just walk out your front door and do it. Slowly, very slowly, I realized it didn’t have to be that way. I could throw workout clothes on and jog down my front path and just see what happened. Running didn’t have to be such an event. Some days, I could run for long periods of time, and other days I had to walk/run. It just depended. I could accept this new idea of running because I was also seeing improvements. The first time I ran two miles outside without stopping or walking I felt like maybe I was a runner. Then I hit three miles. Then I hit 4.25 miles and felt like I could have kept on going forever. (Sentences like that last one really annoyed me before I started running. I get it.)
This past Saturday all my training paid off. I ran 3.1 miles in 31 minutes, my best time yet. In the beginning I couldn’t run/walk this distance in less than 35 minutes. Well, actually I couldn’t even make that distance at all.
The best part of my race were my fellow runners. I trained with OPT’s Running Club, and I don’t know the last time I was on an athletic team, probably high school, but I had forgotten how wonderful it is. I felt a sense of responsibility to do my best. I felt a sense of pride in my teammates. I felt a sense of community as we cheered each other on. And that sense of community extended to our whole town since people sat out in their lawn chairs and cheered, or they even setup sprinklers for us to cool off in as we ran by.
I should also mention that my husband has been running since before I met him, and I’ve always wanted to run a race with him. The last 1/2 mile of the route is entirely uphill, and he was there cheering me on (since he had already finished!) and running beside me. It feels so good to make the ones we love proud of us.
Running a 5K was on my bucket list, and now I get to mark it off. Last year, I marked off traveling to Italy. Who knows what’s next?