Hmmmm…I guess I can no longer say “Oh, I’m not a RUNNER”. I’ve completed my first 5k and I have to say…I’m so proud of myself.
Now, do I identify with those people who have completed countless marathons and crave running daily. Nope.
Do I itch to get out and run…to obtain that runner’s high? Nope.
Do I still wonder what the heck I am thinking during those first minutes and even the first mile? Heck yeah.
But…I’m a runner. I’ve proven to myself that I can put my mind to a goal and get there…pushing my body until what seemed impossible isn’t impossible. Our bodies are amazing… God’s good that way in designing us for things we never knew possible (this was proven to me through pregnancy and childbirth but it’s a great reminder).
So…how did I get here?
Last year some time I was feeling a bit left out of the ‘in’ crowd. It seemed that everyone was running. And signing up for races. Huh? I have very good friends who are RUNNERS (Hi Amy and Anita!)…and then another good friend became one last year too (Hi Ang!). And then all of the sudden it seemed every where.
Step one to becoming a runner for me: cave in to the peer pressure. LOL
Then the whole “I’m turning 40 soon” feeling was hitting me. Mind you, I still have over a year until that big number…but it’s coming fast. And I started thinking…gosh, I really should run a marathon before I’m 40. Say what?! Don’t ask me why that thought was in my head, but it was. So I looked toward the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco in October as something I might want to do.
Then I got on the treadmill at the gym. Um, hello? I could barely maintain a jog for 5 minutes, much less a mile…and 26.2? That seemed like a joke. So, was this really what I wanted?
Step two for me becoming a runner…figure out what exactly it was I wanted. For me it was first a desire to mix up my workout routine a bit. Then it was a sense of accomplishment and in running it seemed logical that completing a race was accomplishment.
So why did it have to be a marathon?
After talking to running friends, both serious and casual I realized that while a marathon is great for some people…it didn’t have to be my goal. So I decided to set my goal at a 5k.
3.1 miles seemed more reasonable.
And then I messed around and skipped days on the treadmill, ignored the fact that I had this goal set and wondered again if this was what I wanted.
It was. When the first of the year rolled around I got serious. But it wasn’t until I downloaded a Couch to 5k app for my iPhone that I really thought I could do it. It gradually built up my endurance with a typical training program. It gave me a way to plan instead of just randomly getting on the treadmill and trying to run until I passed out.
And about half way through the 9 week training program I realized that I could do it. And…I could do more.
So we (hubby is running with me) signed up for the 5k and kept running. I’ve had my days of disappointment and wondering what the heck I am doing…but on my good days I have thoughts of bigger and better races.
Finishing that 5k was hard. But oh, so amazing! I am humbled and motivated.
We’re planning on doing another in May just to better our time. Then we’ll look for a 10k this summer.
And that Nike Women’s race in October? Well, a group of friends and I did sign up for the lottery…for the half marathon. It hit me that 13.1 miles sounded a whole lot more do-able than 26.2. Right? We didn't get in...this year. But we're looking at a local half marathon at the beginning of October so we’ll see…
p.s. I’m also inspired by other stories of fitness and accomplishment. One of my favorite fitness blogs is called Badass Fitness. (Excuse the language…) She is super motivational for me and shares lots of real life examples of people meeting their goals as well as workout routines and fitness tips. Check her out…I bet you are inspired too!