I am so excited to get to write this post today - I like to celebrate little successes- but when it comes to the big ones? I want to SCREAM them! So, pardon me while I do a happy dance and yell from the mountain tops:
I RAN THE WHOLE 5K!! I DID IT!
In all my current (and previous) attempts at using Couch-to-5K to actually achieve running a full 5k distance/race - I was always able to cover the distance but had to incorporate walking breaks into it. This past Saturday, my good friend Stefanie and I decided to do a last minute race instead of our regular "training" run. She had never done a race, walking or running - so I was proud to stand beside her while she got her race feet wet. She and I typically run 3-4 miles together on the weekends and take as few walk breaks as possible- but we do take them.
I suppose we were feeling rather squirrely when we said before the race that "walking is not an option"; we were determined to run the whole thing. The race was to start at 9am- so we started prepping at 8:45 with some warm up walking and then lined up at 8:55. Since this was her very first race- I had warned her about taking off too quickly (which is something I've done WAY too many times) and I took the responsibility of keeping our pace. As the "gun" went off- she did just that, jumped ahead ready to take a lead and I held her back- I know those quarter-mile cramps from starting out too fast all too well. She held up and we jogged a nice slow pace. Typically- our average pace is about 12:20 per mile on the weekend runs- so I was using my GPS watch to keep an eye on us- and we were keeping a similar pace. When things got tough- we would still jog, but just slow our pace a bit. Once we hit the 3-mile marker- we knew we had very little to go and we sped up a bit to finish very strong. While we know we won't win any speed awards- we had a major goal to complete this race in under 40 minutes. Very attainable- but a goal nonetheless. We finished the race at 37:28!! That's a 12:04 pace!!
I smiled all day long. I felt better than I have about my running in a long time. I was less sore during recovery and I was just so proud.
So proud, in fact, that I went out on Monday morning and I did it AGAIN! Not racing- but not walking either! Ran the full 3.5 miles that I did and while I felt sluggish and had a slower-than-race pace (can we say "Holiday Eating"?) I was happy to have pulled it off again.
So here is to never looking back and always running forward!
(That said- I am also posting it for anyone searching about C25K who thinks they'll never get there, or never accomplish it. You CAN do it- YOU can be a runner. You don't HAVE to do sub-10 minute miles to be serious. You just have to RUN!)