Hi everyone! I apologize for being MIA for almost two months but there’s a good reason…
I decided in April to actually try again. Try what? Well, try to care enough about running to actually train for my big race this year. I know I have done a lot of races but I haven’t been in shape nor have I trained – for any of it.
In April, I set out to gauge myself with a 5k. I picked the Philly Hot Chocolate 5k/15k. My plan was to try to run the first mile, intervals the second mile, walk the third and finish with a run across the finish line. Yeah…that didn’t happen. I got maybe a quarter mile in before realizing I lost my running mojo more than I thought and holy shin splints Batman! Decided to walk it out with attempts to run sprinkled in (my shins made their objections known with each attempt). It was seriously embarrassing and it didn’t help that I was humiliated throughout those 3.1, I finished completely defeated.
The following week, I had a 10k. Obviously, I wasn’t trained but I went into it knowing it was another test run. If you are ever in the area in April, sign up for the Sole of the City – it’s an awesome road race in Baltimore with typically an awesome premium and a fun post race party. After the previous week still very much in my head, I had an unusual pre-race melt down. I actually was in my car crying and contemplating heading home. I have never been terrified of a starting line. After giving myself a pep talk and some kind words from my friends, I headed to the start area.
While the race did not go as stellar as I wanted, my heart melted at the end of the race. A girl, slower than me, got close enough to tell me I had been her rabbit the entire race. She said my pace was consistent and she had been trying to catch me. I can’t remember if it was her first 10k but I could tell she was more pooped than I was. We chatted along the last of the course. I pulled back so she could finish but she wanted me to cross with her. We actually raced (literally) across the line. I think we both surprised ourselves that we still had some gas in the tank! It was an awesome moment and a good reminder that while I am slow, someone slower is behind me and maybe trying to “catch” me.
That week, I sat down and made myself a schedule. I wanted to start small so I started with cross training. Going from zip to 6 days a week is a major adjustment. I settled on two days of cross training. I found a strength workout on Runner’s World and ordered a few supplies from Amazon (exercise mat and stability ball). The first week I modified the exercises to do them without the equipment.
Week 2, I added a third day. Day 3 was just another day of cross training but a more gentle form of cross training – yoga. This workout I found on my Nike Training Club app.
Finally, I started adding some running. I did a few days with the Couch to 5k app but I quickly gave up on that. I did the program when I first started in 2013 but this time around, I wasn’t into it. Instead, I started walking a mile. I had moved and my mile markers were different since the last time I ran in the neighborhood. I found where a half mile was from my place and sometimes walked, sometimes did jog/walk/jog and sometimes just tried to run.
Once I had established this routine, I made an actual training schedule. I have my crossing training 2 days a week. I run 3 days a week with one of those days being a long run (long runs didn’t actually start for a good month so don’t panic thinking I lost my mind). I scheduled 1 day for yoga which could be switched out for pilates if I need to work more on my core. And I scheduled 1 rest day.
It’s almost July and I am just 2 workouts away from completing 2 full months of a self imposed “try to care again” session. I can’t say I’ve made leaps and bounds physically but I am sleeping better. I am also doing pretty good on my diet and making smarter decisions (like just last weekend, I discovered the most delicious meal at Panera and it’s only 200 calories but it is filling and mmmmmmmmmm). This weekend’s long run is 6 miles! 6…miles…
Those 6 miles will be slow and painful and very not pretty but they will get done. I can tell you I am hoping by trying so hard in the heat of summer, this fall when I actually train for my half marathon in February, some form of speed will be with me.
There is no shame in being slow. There is no shame in walking. There is no reason why you should steer clear of road races if you are slow or walk (I have actually been told to switch to other racing where walking is “allowed”).
Your pace. Your race.
Happy running from your favorite snail 🙂