Over the past year, running has become a pseudo-hobby of mine. I was originally planning to run the 5K race at the Baltimore Running Festival last year, but a knee injury crept up and sidelined me for the October event. But, I’m a fighter, so that didn’t keep me down…I recently learned of a women’s 5K run/walk event in the city that seemed doable, so I got back on the training routine…running 3 days/week and 2-3 days of strength training. And given that the race isn’t until the end of June, I figured I have more than enough time to prepare, right? After all, I’ve comfortably got 2.5 miles under my belt while running indoors most days…I’ve only got about another half mile to go to reach my race goal.
I got this…or so I thought. I’m not sure I’m sure I’m really cut out for running! I’ve been struggling (at best!) with my runs for the past week. I’m not sure what’s going on..fatigue…lack of heart…generally feeling over this whole running thing…not real sure, but I’m going to keep at this thing until I conquer this challenge. Why does running matter so much to me…
Running has proven to me that I’m truly capable of overcoming any challenge that lay before me. Growing up, I didn’t believe I was capable of running long distances…I struggled to run a complete lap around the track (or perhaps I was just being lazy), and you could forget me making it the entire mile. One could argue that this was embarrassing on some level, but since I wasn’t alone in my defeat and I was still rather athletic in my own right, the sting didn’t appear to penetrate me so deeply. As an adult, being able to run beyond a mile, and actually finding joy and relief from life’s daily stress in the act of running is unexpected and definitely MAJOR. It’s proof to me that no goal or dream, no matter how crazy, is unattainable. When I first started going to the gym, I used the elliptical trainer for 20 minutes at a time with no hills, then I progressed to 25 minutes…30 minutes…added a hill workout, then some cross training, and eventually some more time. Then, I stepped up to spin class, and I went from barely making it to looking forward to the challenge of the hills and all the calories I was going to burn. Lastly, I dared to give running a try…I started out on the treadmill, slowly adding a few extra minutes to my workout, then some incline, and eventually making it to an outdoor run. This process showed me that (as a friend said to me last week), “baby steps do work”.
So, as I get back into the running game, I have to constantly remind myself that I will get back to where I was, it won’t happen overnight, but if I’ll just keep taking baby steps, I’ll knock that 5K out…even if I have to limp across the finish line. And with that…I shall head out for a short run!
Peace and blessings!