Saturday, May 17, 2014

And then I ran 5 miles

Today I ran the farthest I've ever run in my life - 5.2 miles. Without stopping. In under an hour.

6 weeks ago I would have laughed if someone told me that I'd be here today. This all started because my husband passed is qualifying exams for his PhD. When I asked him what he wanted as a treat to celebrate - he said that he wanted to go to a specialty running store to get fitted for running shoes because he had really started running again recently. Since I was the one treating I decided that maybe I would get fitted for some cross-trainers while we were there - but they were all really ugly, so I decided to get a pair of running shoes. Logical, right? :)

The next day I downloaded the Couch to 5K app on my phone and started out. This would be my third or fourth foray into running - I had tried half-heartedly in college and then I had tried again before our wedding and then again after our wedding. But - now that I'm 6 weeks in I have some perspective - and I think that my biggest mistake with those last two attempts was actually trying to train with J! He's such a fast and long runner - even if he hasn't gone running for a month, he can still go out run 4 miles at under a 10 min/mile pace. So I would go out with him on a run and he'd leave me in the dust and I'd be feeling really crummy about my ability and then I would decided once again that I'm really not a runner and would quit.

Well not this time (or at least not yet!) - I followed the Couch to 5K app closely for about 3.5 weeks, but I only followed it loosely. I found that in the second week I was able to push through the last walking interval and run until the end of the session - albeit SLOWLY - but I was still running!

In the 4th week, J started taking me a little more seriously and told me that he had heard on one of the podcasts that he listens to that running hills was a really good way to build up your stamina - and lucky for us we have this stupidly steep hill just a few blocks from our house. So on a Friday after work I set out to see how many times I could run up the hill. The way we do it is to run up the hill, then turn left and run around this mini block that kicks you out at the bottom of the hill again - and then repeat. I was able to do it 5 times around without stopping on my first try - which when I got back to the house I figured out was over 3 miles! I had already run a 5K!

After that something just clicked. I COULD do this. I've signed up for two 5Ks this summer - one is just next weekend already! Eek! I'm really excited and really nervous! Wish me luck! I'm not aiming for a specific time since this is my first one - I'm just aiming to run the whole thing! But I can definitely say that my 5.2 mile run today made me feel confident that hopefully I should be able to do that - as long as I don't start out to fast... which I know is going to be hard to control. We'll see - I'll report back!