Photo Credit: mainevalleypost.com
It isn’t a secret that I am trying to suck less at running.
Like all new goals, it is taking some time to get to where I want to be and I still huff and puff along at my own snail’s pace.
When the summer started, a friend of mine asked me to run a 5K with her and even though the voice in my head said, “HELL NO!” –
I said yes. Since then I have run FIVE more 5K’s and it’s safe to say I’m addicted.
5K’s are a great way to push yourself without committing to something insane like a marathon.
The total distance is 3.1 miles and even if you have to walk the whole thing, it is still a great workout!
I also love that you get to see your race time and pace at the end of the race. Having an actual time and pace for the distance is super motivating!
During my first race, my goal was not to die.
Okay and I secretly wanted to finish in under an hour – I figured that was a good starting point for someone who never runs.
I have proven that I am stronger than I think on many occasions, but still I am full of self-doubt when facing a new challenge.
The morning of the race I was both terrified of embarrassing myself and excited to be working towards a new goal!
I tried hard to believe in myself – and it worked! I ran the 5k in 43 minutes, and had a pace of 13.5 minutes per mile! I didn’t even have to walk too much. I was excited that I had a decent jumping off point and that I could use my first race as a benchmark for my progress.
Since that very first race…
– I have accomplished a lot through running 5k’s.
– They haven’t all been amazing, but I have learned to believe in myself more
– I now feel comfortable pushing myself when I feel like giving up.
– I ran a 4 mile race after my first 5k, and managed to run the entire race – no walking at all!
– I kept up my previous pace on a longer run and felt awesome about that.
My most recent race was by far the most challenging.
In Florida, we don’t have many hills (or any at all) and all of my training is done on super flat land. Somehow, my running buddy talked me into signing up for a race an hour away from my house that was at a park with manufactured hills – yikes! HILLS!?
I figured there would be no way for me to keep my usual pace with the added challenge of hills – especially when I have NEVER tried to run a course with hills. I reverted back to my “just don’t die” goal while standing at the bottom of the hill, somehow defeated but still determined.
I let go of my expectations and just focused on doing the best I could and as I got closer to the top of the final hill, I could see the time clock at the finish line.
It was only at 39 minutes! I was so freaking close and I was going to beat my best time ever on a super hard course!
I finished the race in 40 minutes and 23 seconds, crushing my previous best time!
Obviously, compared to marathon runners I am still the slowest kid on the block – but I love seeing tangible proof of my progress!!
Go try a 5K – you’ll likely be supporting some cause and investing in yourself as well!!
What ways do you track your progress and motivate yourself to reach new goals?