I've been keeping a secret.... the last six weeks I've been following the Couch to 5k Program. It's a 9 week program designed to help you get from being a couch potato to running a full 5k. (I asked B if he wanted to do it with me... he said he'd take care of the couch part.)
With two friends training for marathons - that they discuss frequently, and still feeling the "newlywed nine", I was looking to get myself into decent shape again. I've never enjoyed running, and would never dare to call myself a runner. I played sports - soccer, basketball, rugby, and I swam. There's an amount of running required (well except for the swimming), but beyond that it was never something I enjoyed. Over the years I've tried to run, it always seemed like a good idea, but I would come home in pain and convince myself my body just wasn't built to run. That I have bad knees. That I have a bad back. Etc. Etc. Etc.
But, then I looked at the Couch to 5k Program. I'd never followed any programs before, I'd just go out and run as much as I could. I told myself I would follow this program, and not overdue it - which always leads to me feeling awful and not wanting to do it again.
Well, this is week six. I've completed all of the trainings so far, in order and not gone over (at least not by much). It also happens to be the week of the "Rush Hour 5k Run" at my place of employment. I figured what the heck. One of my crazy marathon friends works in the same location as me and said she'd run it too. Perfect.
The race was today. And I finished. And I ran the entire time (minus about 5 seconds of tying my shoes). And I wasn't last. Not even close. In fact, I passed several people in the last quarter-ish mile. I did pick up my pace a little too soon - didn't realize the last loop was so long!
My "unofficial" time - i.e. when I crossed the line what the clock read - was about 30:25. It was a chipped race - meaning they gave us ankle bracelets that track you specifically, so they'll have the results based on exactly when I crossed the start line, and exactly when I cross the finish line - so I'll have an official time in a few days hopefully. And, for those who are metrically challenged, a 5k is 3.1 miles, and 30:25 is under a 10 minute/mile pace. Which is pretty decent for a beginner runner - at least from what I know.
I'm really proud of myself, and will continue to finish off the training plan as is, in hopes of being able to push myself a little harder. I had fun, even if I was a bundle of nerves (cause I mean, my boss, Mr. something-like-7-time-Boston-Marathon-runner was running too), and am excited to get back into a competitive sport - even if the competition is mostly with myself.
Big thanks to Kristin (check out her photography site Focused on Life) for running it with me, and helping me push myself.
So, I might be doing some more running, but I'm still not calling myself a runner...