I’ve taken a break from writing my blog, but not from running. Well, not anymore at least. I fell off the running bandwagon for a few weeks and getting back on was no small feat. I lost my enthusiasm for running and it was hard to find any motivation to get back out there. The less I ran, the harder it became until I was left wondering what I ever enjoyed about it in the first place.
I’ve learned that life has a way of providing you answers when you need them. I was at Starbucks a few weeks ago when I noticed a flier on the cork board for a 5k. Intrigued, I leaned in for a closer look as I waited for my iced coffee. It’s at the lake where I do my runs now, so I know the terrain and the money goes to fight childhood cancer. How could I not do it? It seemed like an omen or sign from the universe that it was time for me to get my ass back in gear and do what it is that I set out to do when I started this running experiment– it’s time for me to run a 5k.
I Googled training programs and have come up with a plan to get myself ready. I’m running my normal 30 minutes two days, taking a day off, running 30 minutes for two more days and then doing a longer run on the third day followed by one more day of rest. I have been averaging around 2.5 miles in thirty minutes, which is nowhere near a fast pace but isn’t completely embarrassing either.
Today I set out to run three miles for the first time ever. I figured if I could do three miles, I could do a 5k (3.1 miles). I kept up a pace I was comfortable with and when I reached the 1.5 mile marker I knew I was going to be able to make it all the way back. I was elated the whole way back with what I knew I was going to accomplish. I rediscovered the joy in running today, the joy of challenging myself and then meeting that challenge, the joy in realizing I am capable of so much more than I ever knew. When I finished, I checked my time even though I had already decided I didn’t care if it took me 40 minutes to finish, it was enough that I was able to finish. I was shocked to find that I ran 3 miles in 34 minutes and 36 seconds. Not only did I run further than I ever have before, I did it quicker than my normal pace. I was amazed.
So I have a training program in mind and a goal I want to achieve. The 5k is on September 11th. I have exactly one month to get ready and I really think I will be. My biggest fear is that I’ll be the last person to cross the finish line. But even if I am, at least I’ll finish.