Yesterday, I hit my goal of running 10k (6.2 miles) non stop. After it was over, I was sore, tired, and so proud of myself. I was able to accomplish the BIG goal I set my mind to. How did I achieve it? Consistency, dedication to the sport, and most of all, I believed I could do it.
Back in June, I started running-well jog/walking was more like it- you can actually read more about my beginner days here, and I was all over the place. I would leave the house, walk a little, run a block or two, then go back to fast walking. I was ashamed to call myself a runner because I just didn’t feel like it. I had no real goal, just go get out of the house and be active, I didn’t push myself, I just went slow.
By July/August, I was wanting more, so I set a goal of a 5k by the end of August. Not a 5k in an official race, just a 5k run around my neighborhood. I marked this on my calendar, I shouted it out to social media, I was going to do this!
That 5k felt amazing, I pushed myself hard and finished with a time of 34:05.
In September and October, I worked on speed and adding miles to my run. In general, I would get in an easy run on Tuesday, a speed run on Thursday, and a long run on Saturday. I would intersperse a few days of weight training and some yoga in there too. I was in a routine and thins were really coming together for me.
I had a minor set back in October where I hyper extended my knee and couldn’t run for 8 days BUT, I didn’t let this bring me down. I worked on core strengthening and hip flexibility and when I put my shoes back on after 8 days of recovery, I was rested and ready.
The next few weeks brought more miles and faster times. I looked forward to runs but also to strength training as I knew they really went hand in hand.
By the end of October, I could see my “finish” line. I had been adding about 1/4-1/2 mile on to my long run every week and I was closing in on 6.2. On top of that, my average mile had gone from the mid 11 minute range to the mid 10 minute range.
On November 12, 2016, I set out for my long run, the run that would be my first 10k. I picked a pace for myself (around 10:30) and I kept steady at it. I was not looking to set any record with this (mostly because I didn’t even have a time to beat!), I just wanted to see if my body could take me on this journey and bring me back in one piece.
There were aches and pains a long the way-shin splints and tightness in my groin-but overall I felt good, my mind wasn’t going to let me stop and this was the most important factor.
I was able to get in a zone, turn off the world around me (within reason of course) and just go.
I finished in 1:04:55, with an average pace of 10:28, faster than my first 5k and (obviously) twice as long!
I see big things for myself in the next 6 months. Maybe my first actual race? I know I should probably just sign up and get it over with but I’m looking for that perfect one. As for now, I am happy running the streets of my town.
Its crazy to me how far I have come since June. When I started, I could barely run a mile without stopping! Now? Bring on 6, no problem!
Running is my sport, running has me, I will forever be a runner.
If you are on the fence about starting, or not knowing where or how to start, my advice to you would be to just start walking. Get out there and be as slow as you need to be. Go at YOUR pace but be consistent. Don’t be afraid of the big scary title of “runner”, embrace it early and become what you believe it to be over time.
All runners are different, all of our stories are different. Don’t compare yourself to another runner because his/her story is not going to be the same as yours.
And, if you are looking for a community of runners to be a part of, I started a small (but mighty) Facebook group for runners, you can join here.