I started running back in 2013. I had always wanted to run a race, but had no idea where to even begin. I had tried on my own a few times and couldn’t do it. I had no plan and no idea that I even needed one.
I saw a few others on Twitter were joining a running clinic, so I figured why not? I mean how hard could it be to learn to run a 5km race?
The answer is, VERY VERY HARD.
I joined a 12 week beginner running clinic, with the end goal being the Summer’s Night 5km Race. Twice a week, I met up with the running group and slowly progressed. Starting at just 1 minute running intervals, we worked our way up to being able to run most of the 5 kilometres.
It wasn’t easy though. Learning to breathe properly, along with increasing my overall lung capacity proved to be a challenge. In addition to that, I was one of the lucky souls who is tortured with intermittent shin splints. Some days, all I could do was walk while I watched the rest of the group progress.
I am not a quitter though, and while it was tempting to throw in the towel, I continued to push on. With a little bit of preventative therapy from Clearpath Chiropratic, and better shoes, race day finally arrived.
I was terrified. I had no idea what would possess me to think I could run a 5km race and be successful. My goal was to finish under 40 minutes. Seemed reasonable, because I knew I could walk a kilometre every 10 minutes. If I added some running to the mix, I should be able to shave 10 minutes off of that easily.
The race started, and I settled in at a decent pace. For almost the first half of the run, I kept very close pace with my friend Erin. She is fast though and maintaining that would not have been possible. Close to the halfway point I started to run/walk as I needed. I also started to get frustrated and feel defeated because when I hit the 3 km marker, I was finding it hard to believe I hadn’t gone further than that already.
Like my entire experience with running, I pushed on.
When I finally crossed the finish line, my kids and some friends were cheering me until the end. My final time was an incredible 34:18 – well under my forty minute goal. To this day, that is still my personal best for a 5km race.
I will always have a love/hate relationship with running, but there is no better feeling than finishing a run, and knowing you did your very best.
I was counting down the days until my 40th birthday on September 15, 2017 with 40 Things. Unfortunately, I am a procrastinator and did not finish it on time. Still, I continue to push myself to finish.