So the challenge of participating in a 5K was given and if you've known me for any length of time you know that I never shirk from a challenge. My mind was thinking about it day and night, trying to convince myself that I could indeed run a 5K, I just need some training beforehand to do so. But I've never ran more than a few yards at a time...in a row. I'm. Not. A. Runner. Apparently that wasn't a good enough answer for my brain.
I started looking online for different training schedules for beginners. Most (well lets face it, ALL) looked daunting to complete, especially for someone who has never, ever, ever, ever, ever been a runner. I finally decided on one from the Mayo Clinic. It was specifically geared to beginner runners wanting to run a 5K at the end of the training. Just my luck, wouldn't you know that the amount of weeks the training schedule took from that exact day I found that schedule was the exact amount of weeks and days until the day of the biggest holiday 5K run in Seattle, the Jingle Bell Run. It was fate, right?
So I started the training. It was SO HARD. I will be honest, my body did not want to move in that way. It would constantly give up on me. I would start to get into a good breathing pattern and then my lungs would say "screw you, I'm going to make you cough uncontrollably and not be able to catch your breath for the next 15 minutes! HAHAHAHHA!" Yeah, thanks lungs. Or it would be my legs that would be going at a good clip, then the muscles would just decide "uh uh, we are not doing that anymore, you are stopping right now!", then all I could do was walk for the next 20 minutes.
It wasn't that there was anything physically wrong, it's just that my muscles had never been used in this way and they were making it known. So it was my job, well my minds job, to smooth out the differences and keep my body moving. I fought through my legs wanting to stop by going a bit slower, I concentrated on my breathing so if I felt like I was going to start having issues I could deal with them instead of feeling frustrated about it. Everyday I would run or walk, even during the cold, rainy Seattle days I would put on a hoodie and get out in that rain for a run. Life doesn't stop when it rains, right?
My husband would go on runs with me to encourage me. He isn't really a runner himself, but he's in better physical shape then I am and could run for long distances without issue. Or that's at least how it appears to me, he would say otherwise at times. Having someone to help encourage you through the little improvements you have, to cheer you on when you hit a milestone, to push you that little bit more to get you running a little bit faster or that little bit farther then you had before, to help you realize that you can do so much more than you thought you could. That type of encouragement makes all the difference in the world and helped to foster my appreciation for this sport and the benefits you get from it.
The weeks counted down and only days were left to the run. I'm so nervous, but really excited! It's my first race ever...and I'm gonna run it!