May 27, 2010

Sometimes running is amazing

This past week, I had been getting very nervous about the upcoming 5k. I said back in February or so that I would do this, and have been training (albeit slowly) ever since. Up to last week though, I had yet to ever run greater than 1.5 miles at a time. In addition to that, I have never trained as often as I thought I should (I've only made the 3 days/week goal maybe twice), and I just generally didn't know what I thought I was thinking attempting a 3.1 mile run.

So, after much freaking out and misdirected frustration, I settled on the fact that I just had to get down to brass tacks. I had to actually GO at least 3 miles. I just had to do it, no matter what it was going to take. Monday evening came, and I told Bryan to come pick me up at the end of the rail trail in an hour. He had already Google Earthed the route for me, and from our front door to the end of the trail is 3.1 miles. I just had to go try it, see how long it took, and work from there. The race was in less than 2 weeks, after all.

Off I went. I had prepared a running mix with a 5-minute warm-up song (to which I would walk, pace be damned!), then 25 minutes of "running music," followed by a 3:40 minute walking song. I figured at this point I would be halfway done, so I put 25 more minutes of "running music" after that, and figured the journey would take me 50-55 minutes to complete.

I walked to the rail trail, which took more than 5 minutes, but oh well. I didn't feel like running on the sidewalk just yet. I was prepared to run when I got to the trail, so that's what I did. Still very self conscious about running in front of strangers, I [cussed] in my head when I got to the trail and saw several people sitting on benches. I thought "should I wait 'till I'm past (or out of sight of) them before I start running?" I considered it, but then started my jog just as I was walking in front of them. Screw it! Watch this big-legged lady run, people, and love it!

I ran. I just ran. As usual, after about 1 minute my body was like "What? We're running again? I don't want to..." (or is that my mind?). I pushed through that, of course, and it went away. I ran past a guy walking and smoking a cigarette... I ran as a cop car came driving down the rail trail towards and past me (ever heard of bikes, cops?), I ran past several bikers (going the opposite direction; no, I cannot yet beat wheels with my mere legs), and I ran past one lady who was walking in exercise clothes, listening to music just like I was. She could've been me--except that I was running!

At one point I was feeling ready to stop, and I was convinced that my "break song" was directly after the current one. When that song ended, I instantly started walking in anticipation of sweet Nina Simone in my ear, but it wasn't her time yet. I walked for maybe 15 seconds, a little dejected, but then started running again. Two songs later, Nina came on, and I thanked her for the break and started to walk.

I realized that I was much further than halfway to my destination. I had been in an unrecognizable area of Beckley, but now I was going under an overpass that I have driven many times. I knew I was pretty close. I started to run again even before Ms. Simone was finished, and soon came around a bend. Ahead of me was one very long straight stretch, and I could see the picnic pavilion that meant the end of my run. I just thought, "Well, I can run to there. I just have to." And I did.

I reached the end, ran a little further (because weirdos were doing some kind of drug deal in the pavilion), and then walked. I had done it! I looked at my Runkeeper, and it said I had gone 3.02 miles in... get this... 40 minutes! Couldn't believe it.

I waited for Bryan and the kids at our rendezvous spot for 20 minutes, happy as a clam. I stretched, drank water, and just sat on the grass. It was awesome. I knew that I could do it. I can run that 3.1 miles next Saturday, and I might not even have to stop to walk at all. Great feeling. I'll never forget it.


Christian Neeser said...

Hey Laura,
congrats on your running accomplishments! Are you running with your ipod. If you are, you might be interested in MP3Running Music. Specialized running music with coaching and positive affirmations. Really cool. check it out and let me know if you like it - Christian

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