Tuesday, September 4, 2007

It all started with a local 5k...

I have been running consistently for about 5 years now. It started with a local 5k a friend from work was running and progressed to my first 1/2 marathon with the same friend about a year later. I have now run 3 half marathons and several 5, 8, and 10k's. I have trained for all of those races on my own. Not because I don't want to join a running group but rather because 1) I never really thought of myself as a runner until lately. 2)I never believed I had the sort of dedication a running group has and 3) With my travel schedule it makes it virtually impossible to commit to a weekly group. Over the years I have learned what training schedules work best (or when I should merge two and make my own), when I need rest days, what to eat, what not to eat, what to wear, and so on and so forth all through talking to the one friend who got me started on this whole running journey as well as other research. While out running my 5 milesthis morning I realized I how far I have come in 5 years and especially in the last 8 months with my current training. Last year I never would have been able to run 1 mile let alone 5 miles two days following a long run. After my first half marathon I couldn't walk for a week, literally. I seriously considered a wheelchair during that week. I swore up and down I was never doing that to my body again. I went out too fast as I tried to keep up with my friend who runs a full 1 -2 min a mile faster than me and hit a wall at 10. I had to walk then I got myself going again to finish in a respectable 1:58 and some change. I was in pain, lots of it. I didn't stretch or take care of myself properly during that training and I ended up having take some time off from running after that race. I was burnt out and promised to never run anything longer than an 8k again. Until the next year when another group of friends started training for a different half marathon. How quickly I forget the pain. All I remembered was I've done it before and I did pretty good for my first time so I can do this again. Most of the co-workers bailed and the remaining I couldn't find before the race so with the exception of the first 3 miles I ran the race in the rain by myself. This race was a PR and with a little less soreness. I went out slower, used a different training scheduled before and after. With each race I learned something more about myself and this thing called running. Yet, I always think I am never going to do a distance run again - it's crazy I did it once why do it again?!? I'm sure I'll say it after the marathon as I'm devouring my lunch - Alright I did it, I'm good. Until someone I know says "hey, did you hear about ______ race in ______. I just started training you have time to sign up why don't you it'll be fun!" Then I'll think maybe/why not/I've done it before and it wasn't so bad, see the shoes in the corner of the room and head out for a run to prove I still have it in me.