If you would've asked me about a year ago about running a 5K, I would've scoffed at the very suggestion.
Me, a runner? Not likely! Of course I was having a few health challenges last year, but still running was NEVER something I was interested in doing.
Only a few months later things changed. I started wondering what the big deal was with running, and I was impressed with several friends who took up running and were having great success with it. I started wanting to know for myself if running was something I could ever do.
Smirk found a program online that's basically designed to help you prepare for a 5K (even if it doesn't specifically say that), and I started following it. Unfortunately, the commitment wasn't there, so I was unsuccessful. After Christmas I decided I wanted to try it again partially because there's a certain power that comes from conquering something you've always disliked and partially in honor of my niece, whom I knew could never run with her bad heart.
I did great at training for the first two months of the year. It was only running around my basement, mind you, but it was still running, and I was proud of myself. But after my niece died, I lost it for a couple of months, and several things fell by the wayside, including running. By the time I was ready to take it up again, it was May and I was doing a walking challenge for work. I incorporated my running right into that and discovered a strength and endurance that I didn't know I possessed. I (gulp) discovered that I was beginning to not hate running anymore, even if it still made me anxious whenever I started preparing to go for a run.
Then Smirk asked if I wanted to do a 5K at the end of June. A 5K in only a month? Could I be ready? I decided that ready or not I was going to do it.
Which leads me to Saturday morning when I found myself at Sugarhouse Park, relatively early in the morning with a large group of people being the same crazy that I was. I had trained hard all that week and by the time Thursday came, I was sick of training and ready to just do the race. Surely it couldn't be as bad as all the days of running I'd just done. I was glad as I looked around the group to discover that not everyone looked like they'd been running for years. In fact, several looked similar to me, i.e. people just trying out a 5K for the first time.
We all gathered at the starting line and prepared to take off. The butterflies in my stomach were threatening to fly up at any moment, but I tried my best to squelch them. And then we were off.
I should tell you now that I am NOT a fast runner by any means, but I do try to be steady. Smirk and I kept an even pace, and we ran for the entire first lap and then some. I took about a minute to walk as we went into the second lap and then I was running again until we started going down the grassy slope. If you're not familiar with running on grass, it's harder than concrete, well in my opinion anyway, so I walked down the slope, through the picnic area and back onto the road for a short time. Then I was running again and made it almost the whole way up the second hill heading to the finish.
Once I got back to the concrete that surrounds the park and knew the finish line was pretty close, I knew I had to run the last quarter of a mile or however long it is. And run I did. I was determined to see this through to the end. As I passed through the finish line (my time was 36 something, but I don't remember exactly), I felt such a strong elation. I was delighted to give 5 to the guy standing by the timer, and my excitement continued as I realized what I had just done: I had run a 5K!! Smirk was right behind me. We both did amazing!! I was a little surprised when I almost started crying out of excitment. * Sigh * Sometimes I hate being a complicated female!
This experience has just taught me that sometimes we can do things we never thought possible. And if you set a goal (provided it's reasonable) and then work toward accomplishing it, there's no reason you shouldn't be able to. I was thinking before the race how excited I was that I no longer have to run, but I'm surprised in that I now want to keep running. Who would've thought that could happen? Certainly not me!