It’s important for you to have a bit of my running history to kick this off.
In elementary school I remember being one of the fastest in my class. I was tiny and light and it was pretty easy for me. Fast forward to high school. I tried for a hot minute as a freshman but weak ankles and shin splints put me behind the curve and I resigned to the fact that it just wasn’t my thing anymore.
Fast forward a few more years (17 to be exact) and I have gained a career, a family, and a bunch of mom weight after having two kids. I start working out (turning 30 is a b*tch) but I adamantly refused to ever run. It’s boring, and the thought alone gives me anxiety. Let’s also remember I have raging shin splints at the first thought of hitting the pavement.
So, I sign up for my first 5k after being inspired by a major marathon in town. “How bad could it be? Literally thousands do it every day. I can do 3 measly miles.” I say to myself.
The day comes, I’m excited but nervous. Really nervous. My sweet husband is there to cheer me on. I see a few gals from the gym, they’re seasoned runners and tell me to chill out and that I’ll be fine. I half believe them.
I get to the start line, I put my earbuds in and the horn blows. We’re off. I can’t get my watch to work to track my pace. Great, just great.
I decide to run and let my body and the music figure it out. I keep one of my gym sisters in my view and figure if I can just keep her in my sights, I’ll be doing alright. Here are my most prominent thoughts during 3 miles of complete regret.
“Omg, I’m already tired. We just started. How in the hell am I going to do three miles?”
“Holy crap, there’s the 1 mile marker. Ok, I haven’t died yet. This is good.”
“Sweet Mary, why are there so many hills? Are they trying to prove that non runners should stay that way because I couldn’t agree more.”
“Running at night is 10 times easier than running in 80 degree weather.” (Duh, right?)
“I just got passed by a 10 year old. Ok, this is a little embarrassing better get moving.”
“Go ahead and pass me you little show off!”
“Thank goodness a water station.”
*gulp* *choke* *cough*
“Bad idea. Dually noted.”
“My entire right leg is burning like it’s on fire. I need to propel myself with my other leg more. Wait, that screws up my cadence. Or does it? Shit, I can’t tell. Better just keep everything the same.”
“I. Want. To. Die. This is the stupidest thing ever. Why do people like these?
“I will never see the finish line. The race will continue for eternity and this is what hell is like.”
I can’t handle these earbuds any more. I’m just going to run without them.
*pulls earbuds out*
Holy crap, all I hear is my own labored breathing! The sound in itself is making this even harder.”
*puts earbuds back in*
“Is that the finish line?! It is! It is! Oh my gosh, what a beautiful sight! If I run faster I can make a better time!
On second thought this pace is fine.”
*crosses finish line
“Yaaaay me! I can’t believe I did it!
I think I am going to pass out. Water. I need some water.”
When I was able to get my heart rate back down to normal, I was feeling pretty proud. As exhausted and worried I was, at the end of the day, I had it in me and I had it as a 9min/mile. So from one non-runner to another, let me remind you, you’ve been through waaaay worse in your life than a 5k.
Give it a shot. I think you will surprise yourself.