One of my 2013 goals (I won’t call them resolutions, because we all know what happens with those pesky resolutions) was to run a 5K. Just one simple 5K race. That shouldn’t be too hard, should it?
For me, though, I knew it would be. Even though I was determined to get in shape and lose some extra weight in 2013, I was not a runner. Even when I dabbled with running overseas, I was never fast, could never run long distances without stopping to walk, and I always had trouble breaking or with shin splints. I simply wasn’t cut out for running.
Wrong! Wrong! Wrong.
So, it turns out that running is like a drug. It’s addicting. It’s fabulous. It has so many benefits. I miss doing it when I don’t have time to run. I’d rather run than ride the stationary bike or lift weights (seriously…this is shocking).
I didn’t feel this way on my first April run. It was very slow. And I couldn’t breathe. And I came home aching and incredibly glad that it was over. But I was already committed to a 5K. So I had to keep going.
That knowledge propelled me through my training runs (I didn’t use a prescribed training program–I made my own based on what I knew I could already do and where I needed to end up). I didn’t worry about speed, instead focusing on running 3-4 times a week and increasing my distance every few runs. And when 5K day arrived, I ran it.
Terribly. Slowly. With quite a bit of walking.
I left the course discouraged that all of my training had been for nothing. My time was way worse than on any of my training runs.
Don’t get me wrong. I felt accomplished that I’d done something I’d never done before.
But I also felt disappointed with myself. I knew that I could do better.
Instead of quitting, I started training again. This time, the challenge of “I’ve never run a 5K” disappeared. And I ran a second 5K two weeks later…and over 5 minutes faster than the first one.
And now, I sort of love this running thing. You train. You improve. You get some quiet, meditative time. You run.
Running is a drug. And though I’m an unlikely runner, I’m definitely a runner. No one is more surprised than me.