When I wrote my goals for this year, one of them was to run a 5K. The thought scared me so much, I had to put it in really small font
as if that would make a difference. But I accomplished that goal and ran one Saturday morning, and no one is more surprised than me.
I am not a runner – so to set a goal like running a 5k was tantamount to saying I’m going to stop shopping. My brother even asked if it was an April Fool’s joke when I told him. I tried training via the Couch-to-5k program very early this year but gave up when it got hard – aka, I had to run five minutes at a time. The 5k plan was abandoned sometime around March, but I stuck with interval training in the meantime.
Then summer hit, and I needed a confidence booster. I started researching local 5Ks and found that my hometown’s annual race was nine weeks away, exactly the length of the Couch-to-5K program.
I had a legit, real goal. Before I could change my mind, I signed up for the race.
I downloaded the Couch-to-5K app, which I cannot recommend enough, and made a training plan. And then I woke up 30 minutes early three days a week to run. It sucked. It didn’t get easier. But I did it.
The night before the race, I slept for about
four five six hours. I never did sports in high school (marching band, holla!), and I had no idea what to expect at the race beyond a bunch of people in much better shape than me. My goal was to run at least two miles. Secretly though, my goal was to run the whole time.
My mom, stepdad, brother and sister-in-law were amazing and came to support me and my boyfriend, who was nice enough to be my training buddy, early in the cold on Saturday morning. I tried to act calm and cool. Inside I just wanted the race to start so it would be over.
Big points if you can find me (on the right of the photo). They shot off a blank at the start of the race, and I hate loud noises – so I missed the start because my ears were plugged. Oops.
When I looked at the route prior to Saturday, it didn’t look that bad. But running was a different story. I thought I was close to being done, and then I saw the 2-mile mark and almost cried. The cursing, which had been nonexistent, reached a new level, and I’m pretty sure the old lady
walking running in front of me heard everything. I didn’t care. It was painful.
I’m pretty sure I finished close to last – and behind the old lady who had to be around 85 years old. I jokingly told my mom it would probably take me 45 minutes “if I’m lucky” – and it ended up taking around 43. But I finished – and I ran the whole damn time.
I think saying to yourself “I’m not a runner” is the get-out-of-jail card we non-athletic types give ourselves. And it’s a shame – because you don’t have to be an athlete to be a runner. You just have to be motivated – and of course cute shoes don’t hurt!