Jun 3, 2010

Change of Plans

Back when I started the Couch to 5k program, I figured it was at least possible that I'd be changing my plans as race time got closer. That is, I would've believed that maybe I'd have quit this fool thing by now, and had possibly decided that doing a 5k was indeed impossible, cancelling my plan to run one (or rather, ignoring that there ever had been a plan to do so). Instead though, my plans are changing in an unanticipated way: I'm running a 5k this Saturday in Beckley (that I didn't know existed until today), instead of the race in Fairmont next Saturday. This will save us a lot of time and $$, and I'm generally very pleased that we've decided to do it.

One thing that made me pretty sad about it though was that my parents were going to be able to come to the race next week. I know they have been really proud of what I'm doing, and were happy to be able to be there and show support. Alas, they are--as ever--completely understanding. We're going to send them a video of me going across the finish line instead.

I also feel guilty about one thing: this race is going to be a lot easier than the one in Fairmont would have been (at least, I think so). This one is on a rail trail, easy course, no hills, 1.55 miles up, and then back the opposite direction.

So, this evening I went for my run--now the last one before the race--on the very trail that I'll be running with all those other people this weekend. After gloating all afternoon that "I can do this! No problem! I've run there before, even!" I had a damn hard time of it. It was so hot, and sunny when the trees gave way. I realized quickly that this still wasn't going to be easy for me. It was going to be a struggle, especially to run the whole time with no walking. I'm just going to have to do the best I can do, because that's all I can do.

The most important thing I learned on my run tonight is that I cannot downplay the importance of this race to me. I can't let myself be overwhelmed by all the fast runners, racing back the other direction while I'm still plodding through the first half. I can't tell myself "Laura, this is only a 5k." I'm telling you now, Laura; "THIS IS A 5k!"

A year ago, I couldn't run 31 steps, let alone 3.1 miles. A few months ago, I heard of doing a "1 mile fun run," and wondered how they could take a whole mile of running so lightly. In my opinion back then, anyone who could run a mile was amazing. Well, now I'm amazing. I can run a mile, and I can even run two, maybe even 3.1 without stopping. We'll see. But the important thing is, I can go the distance. I will make it, and it will be a major accomplishment in my life. Can't wait!


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