Friday, February 01, 2013

Starting Over

Several months ago I made the decision to get off my butt and start running. This was huge for me because it was the first time I'd made a real effort at physical activity in several years. I had never been a runner before. I never had the discipline to make myself get out there and push past the pain.

Now it's a little different. I'm not sure that my self-discipline is much different than it was in the past, but I definitely want it more. Except that I messed up. I got sick for a while. It's easy to pick up a cold during this time of the year when you work at a school where viral infections spread like wildfire. So I stopped running, only two months after I had begun.

The other day I got a text from Mark asking if I'd like to run in the Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10k in Richmond. In the span of about 10 seconds, my mind went into a panic. 10 kilometers? Okay, I had set a goal for myself to work up to a 5k. Twice that much seemed pushing it.

"When is it?" I texted back. He let me know that it happens in April. April 13 to be exact. That gives me just over two months to get ready for it. Would that be enough time? "Let's do it!" What did I just do? Why did I send that message back to him? Why did I add an exclamation point as if I'm incredibly confident that I can go from next to nothing to being able to go 10 kilometers?

If I had not decided to take a break from running to get over my chest and sinus congestion, I would have finished the Couch to 5k training program that I began back in September. By this point (I hope), I would have been comfortable running 5 kilometers without stopping, maybe without slowing. But when you take two months off, you kind of set yourself way back.

My legs are back to that feeling they had when I started running five months ago. My lungs seem to be doing okay, though. Right now I'm thinking that breathing while running is kind of important, so as long as I can do that, I'll push through the pain in my legs.

I'm working with a different training program now. It's still a Couch to 5k deal, but it's an app on my phone, not a piece of paper that I have to keep up with myself. This time around, I have a voice in my ear that tells me when to run and when to walk. It's a nine week program, which means I'll be ready for a 5k just in time to run the 10k. I have a feeling I'm gonna be hurting on April 13. But I'm gonna commit. I won't back down and I won't quit until I cross the finish line.

If you have any words of encouragement, I am all ears.

1 comment:

  1. Do the program but don't sweat it. When the comes time for the race, you're going to finish no matter what. If you have to walk, you have to walk. There's nothing wrong with that.

    I had to take five months off of running last year due to a foot injury. FIVE MONTHS! And I had already signed up for a really hard race. My podiatrist told me I was good to go TWO WEEKS before the race. I had done nothing in those five months but cross-training (swimming, spinning, elliptical). Not one single day of running.

    But you know what? I ran it anyways. I had to walk way more than I was used to, but it still felt super good to finish. And you know what else? My time was a mere 5 MINUTES slower than my previous time.

    Doesn't matter how fast you run as long as you finish the race.

    Keep up the great work. Running is fun.

    J "see jen run" H