I will begin this entry by sharing some background info about it all. I promise there is a good reason why I titled a post with something as silly as “I can run!”….primarily that I only recently realized that, but let me back up.
For all of my young life, and I do mean all of it, I hated running. I was the girl in P.E. that always managed to have a doctor’s note on the days we ran “the mile”. I got through those presidential fitness tests by jogging lightly around the track only when I absolutely had to, just to attain some standardized passing time that pleases The Man. (ha…).
I did just fine on all the other tests…the sit-ups, toe-reach box, chin-ups, etc but I thought running was the dumbest sport to ever exist. Who deliberately just goes out there and runs for no reason? How was getting all dusty, sweaty, and out-of-breath supposed to be fun? That made zero sense to me.
Fast forward to a couple months ago.
I’ve always been a big fan of treadmill workouts. When I veeeeeerrrryy first started working out, I had a little interval sequence that involved brisk walking and eventually graduated to a jog as my fitness improved. Granted this was interval training, so these jogs were never longer than a minute or two.
But then I quit smoking.
(I know, right?…)
After that, I started working out harder and pushing myself further than I previously had. Before long, my little one-minute jogging intervals had become 2-3 minute running intervals at a near sprint. I kept improving and running got easier as I went along. Suddenly I found myself watching the folks that were jogging along for 20-30 minutes at a time, thinking maybe they aren’t so stupid after all.
Time went on. Training continued. All was well. The runners I would see at the gym and on the sidewalks intrigued me. I wondered what all this talk was about “the runner’s high”. I fantasized about running a marathon. I laughed at myself and got back to my normal routine.
This is self-doubt at its best:
- “I have a bad knee. High-impact training is wrong for me.”
- “I was a smoker for ten years. I don’t have the lung capacity for that.”
- “I have never been able to do it, so why start now?”
- “That just isn’t me. I wish it was, but I’m not that person.”
HOLD THE EFF UP!!! WHAT???
“I wish I was, but I’m not.” Really?????
Who was I talking to??? Apparently some complete fool had invaded my brain and was leading ridiculous dialogues in there. This weirdo had to be stopped!
So I decided that in order to defeat the inner-buzzkill, I was going to RUN.
But where does one start? All I need is a pair of shoes right? But then what??
I needed a goal! Some sort of effort to focus on. And then I could find the pathway toward reaching it. What do runners do? They do marathons! But 26 miles is a big goal for a beginner…perhaps a 5K? I had walked a couple of those in the past and don’t feel like it would be enough of a challenge.
Then it hit me – a 10K! Awesome plan! =)
So I checked The Google for a 10K training plan and found one that takes eight weeks. Two short months seemed a little ambitious, but that could just be the inner-idiot yapping again, so I decided to make it work. I adapted the program to work better for me by adding two weeks to the front end and one week to the back, for a total of eleven weeks from Training Day #1 to Race Day.
I am currently on Day #11, and this is the improvement scale:
Day #2, Tuesday: Mile Pace = 14:14
Day #5, Friday: Mile Pace = 12:50
Day #9, Tuesday: Mile Pace = 12:22
Day #11, Thursday: Mile Pace = 12:04
In the first week, I got 1 minute & 30 seconds faster in only 3 days.
Another 28 seconds shaved off over the weekend.
And then 18 more just between Tuesday and today! Yay!
That means that it is only Thursday and I have already met my 12-minute goal for the week. I’m stoked! It still amazes me that I can run. That I want to run. (Like, who am I?) But seriously, it is therapeutic and empowering for me at this stage of life, and I never would’ve expected that to happen.
Running requires a new sort of breath control, but I can do it.
It also requires a fair amount of muscular endurance, but I can do it.
There is definitely some impact involved, but I can do that too.
My knee doesn’t hurt.
I still haven’t run out of breath.
And my legs aren’t sore or achy at all.
I am so glad I did not let the inner buzzkill stop me from stepping out of my comfort zone and working for something new!
I finished the 10k well within my goal time! I intended to run the race at absolutely no less than a 12-minute pace, and finish the course in less than an hour and 10 minutes.
I ended up running at 10:33 pace and finished in 1 hour, 5 minutes, and 26 seconds. 🙂
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