I wrote that post before I had even once hit the pavement. Since then I've been running a few times a week and surprising the hell out of myself. I hit the three mile mark two and a half weeks ago. My best run was a hilly 3.4 miles last weekend. And I think I get it now...where the fun is in this sport. I totally understand how people can get hooked. It feels amazing. When I committed to the 5K it wasn't even the idea of running that I liked, it was the idea of setting a goal and accomplishing it. Now it's the running I like. Plain and simple. Here are some things I've learned...
Worrying about getting started was the hardest part. In my mind this was going to be a miserable experience. Something I would do once just to say I did it. (Okay, so yes, the first few weeks were in fact miserable.) But once I quit talking about it and started doing it, I quickly realized perception is NOT reality.
Running is completely mind over matter. My cousin told me that once you've been running for a while you'll hit your stride and realize you can just keep going. And she was right! I was amazed at how fast I was able to just keep running without stopping to walk. Here's what the voice in my head sounds like when I'm running. "Yeah, this is hard...but you're not dying. Just because it's hard doesn't mean you can't do it. Keep running. Do not start walking. Think of how strong you're getting."
Running is awesome ME time. I love my family. I really do. But I also crave alone time because it seems like I never get it anymore. I can't tell you how good it feels to put on my iPod and listen to Green Day on full blast...something I can't play at home with three little sets of ears listening. I would have to say that "running ME time" might be just as fun as "going to Target without kids and grabbing a Starbucks ME time." (It's definitely cheaper.)
If you told me last October that I would be enjoying my 5K training this much, I would have laughed at you. If you told me last October that by the end of spring I'd be feeling jealous when I drive by people running on the side of the road, I would have said you were crazy. I never in a million years thought I was capable of this. Shame on me. Of course I am! Bring it on 'Go Commando'...see you in 6 weeks.