Five months ago, I moved to a new city without a job lined up after my temporary contract with my old position ends. The first thing I did was cut down every monthly expense that I could, which included my gym membership. I knew I needed to stay moving.
I also needed a goal..
So I registered for the 10K. I got a friend to commit to running also, though he signed up for the half marathon. I’ve only run 5Ks before. Slowly, but I’ve done it.
I’ve pretty much always said that I hate running. This summer, I’ve learned a little more about myself and that it’s not running that I hate. It’s the exhausting, out of breath, feels-like-dying feeling that running brings. Just thinking about going for a run, my chest tightens up, and I get into my own head.. I can’t do this, it’s going to feel awful, I don’t want to go. I can’t, I can’t, I can’t!
The two-month journey after my investment in a spot in the race was actually exciting. It wasn’t without minor injuries or getting caught in the rain, of course, but the small achievements, my accountabilibuddy, and the fact that I paid to be there kept me going.
I needed to find what worked for me. I knew that pushing myself too hard would lead to potential injury and failing myself would be mentally painful.
I decided to meet myself in the middle and try run-walk intervals. I read a little about it, and even though it may inhibit a super awesome pace, it’s good for keeping up momentum late in the game. The less feeling like death, the better!
As much as I despise it, I’m not new to running. I started out with 1.5 minutes running followed by 1 minute walking. Repeat. Hey.. This isn’t so bad.. I’m doing it!
Once that was comfortable, I upped the run time but left the walking at a single minute. Then repeated that. 5-second increases were hardly noticeable when I made them, but over time, I found myself wondering if my audio cues were even working! I use Seconds Pro for custom interval timing, and I LOVE it!
Eventually, I settled with a 3:25 run and 1:00 walk. I’m confident I can totally do 3:30 now!
I tracked each of my runs with a series of apps (MotionX GPS and the eventually FitBit app) so I knew what my timing and pace was, give or take a few seconds to start and stop the app each time.
I did a few at the 10K distance, even! I knew I could do it.
I was ready.
I was pretty excited. It was finally happening! There were some nerves, but I think those kept my energy up.
It was also raining. Mainly sprinkling, a little rain-rain, but I was definitely pretty soaked by the time I finished.
I checked my apps after I finished and got my medal… And my pace was a good :45/mi under what I had expected.. WHOA!!
My guess is that this is due to to the extra excitement of finally doing that thing I set out and trained for, plus being distracted by all of the other runners, trying to pass others appropriately and making sure not to get in their way, especially when I slowed to the walking interval.
Distance: 10K / 6.2mi
*All female: 222/666 (667)
*Age division f20-29: 67/176 (177)
*Somehow, I was registered as a male.. The number in parentheses is with me added to the female total. Sorry, ladies after me, you’re now ranked one less!
Would I do it again?
Yes. Now that I know I can, and it doesn’t feel like horribleness!
Would I run longer distances, like a half-marathon?
I am undecided. I would still like to increase my maximum distance, but at the moment, I don’t really feel like making that commitment. Perhaps if I increased at my own pace instead of with a race date in mind.
Don’t you need to do different things to keep your body from just “getting used” to a routine??
You betcha! I really want to get back into weight training 🙂
START. Start small and go from there. It will suck at first, but I promise it gets better! Give yourself time to improve.. Just do a teeny bit better each time. Don’t forget to rest. Do happy dances 🙂
I need a good brain distraction so I’m always listening to music. I’d like to try audiobooks or podcasts to see if I can pay attention.