This morning, I ran my first 5k. I didn’t actually compete or run in a race but I did do it on my own. After 8 weeks of training, I feel incredibly accomplished and so proud of myself for sticking to the routine.
Looking back, I can remember how daunting 3.2 miles seemed to me. I wondered if I would be able to finish or run that long without stopping. I can think back to the first weeks of training and remember the exact spots where I thought I couldn’t go any further. But I pushed on and I never stopped running. After awhile, you get into a groove and settle into a pace. You work through the side cramps and then all of a sudden you hit your high and everything settles. Your breathing gets easier, you enjoy the sound of your feet hitting the pavement, and you realize all of a sudden that you’re actually doing it. I always thought it’d be cool to be a runner and now I am one!
What I’ve learned through the training process is that training really is so important to me. I’ve come to understand the limitations of my body. When I started, I was not a runner. I was not fit and I had no stamina. I could not even run a mile. Starting slow and adding just a few minutes of running each week broke a large daunting goal down into small manageable pieces. I realized that even when you don’t think you can go any further, you can. Each week I pushed myself by adding anywhere between 2-5 minutes of run time, gradually decreasing my walk time. I can’t tell you how many times in the last two weeks where I had to keep pushing forward. I’m not a fast runner and by pushing myself, my feet kept moving and I accomplished my goals each week. The most rewarding aspect of training – I realized I’m capable of pushing through even when I think I can’t. I feel empowered. And now that I’m officially a “runner” I feel motivated to set out on the next step: 5k to 10k!