One of my 2012 goals was to run a 5K. This was a goal I decided on late in the year, around Labor Day. Some friends at work are obsessive about working out. They usually spend their lunch going to classes at the gym at work. They started talking about running a 5K together and I decided to join them! I’ve been meaning to try running and I figured this was excellent motivation.
I’ve tried the Couch to 5K program before, but got overwhelmed quickly, because I could barely handle the first week of training. I needed something even more basic than the most basic running program. I Googled around and found this program on how to run a mile in a month, which was much more my speed (literally). At first I thought I would need to run at an actual track in order to track my mileage, but then I realized that most running apps on my iPhone can easily track mileage. I decided that Jog Log had everything I was looking for so I quickly downloaded it.
The first couple of weeks were tough, I won’t lie. But I stuck to my schedule of running on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. I mostly ran around my neighborhood, and my phone would tell me when to run and walk. At the end of my workouts, it would tweet/Facebook my mileage and average speed so it was fun to see how I was improving. After about three weeks (I think), I was able to easily transition over to the official Couch to 5K program, which comes programmed in the Jog Log workouts. I loved seeing my improvements and feeling like I could run farther even when the app would tell me to start walking.
I did plateau around Week 3 of the C25K program, I think I was stuck there for three weeks! The first time I ran a 1/4 mile without stopping was a huge milestone. By this time, it was November and it was really hard to stay consistent with running outside since it was dark by the time I got home from work. I started running on the treadmill at the gym, which was definitely different from running on pavement. But I consider that a milestone in itself, I was always afraid I would fall off the end of the treadmill once it got started!
Before I knew it, it was getting really close to race day, December 2nd. I will be honest, I never finished the C25K program. I still can’t run a 1/2 mile. I was nervous and excited the morning of the race, but I wasn’t worried about how I would do. I knew there would be other runners at my level, and I had two goals for the race: don’t come in last and try to hit a 45:00 race time. Since there were 5,500 runners signed up for the race, I knew I had a good chance for my first goal. And based on my average speeds during training, a 45:00 minute race time was a definite possibility, as long as I pushed myself.
At this point, I’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking. The energy at the race was palpable, and it was a lot of fun! At the beginning of the race, I had a moment of panic, like “OMG! What did I get myself into?!” but I pushed through it. I tried to ignore the people that passed me right away, which was easy because it took less than a mile for me to get settled into the group of people at my pace. We were definitely the runner/walkers. There were a bunch of us that would pass each other while running, and then they would catch up while we were walking. There were a couple of major hills around the 2.5 – 3 mile mark, and I had to walk those. The last leg of the race was downhill however, so I pushed myself to run into the finish line. It was pretty slippery though, so I actually had to slow myself down. (I guess a lady in front of me totally wiped out in front of the finish line. I’m SO glad that wasn’t me!) My official finish time was 46.51 but according to my phone it was 43.34, which I’m going with. I started and stopped the workout myself, while the official time relies on my racing bib and the timing chip. Mission accomplished!
photo credit: Bex Z.
photo credit: (c) Kiqe Bosch Photography
photo credit: Bex Z.
photo credit: Studio SMC (my awesome wedding photographer!!)
I honestly can’t wait to start training for the next 5K, my running group is talking about running a race in the spring. I did run yesterday on the treadmill and I didn’t die, so I think this new habit may be sticking!