I ran a 5K … on the treadmill at the gym tonight. For all of you runners out there, this might be NBD (no big deal). But for me, it totally is.
I have had a negative mindset toward running for as long as I can remember. In school, I hated being forced to run in gym class. I was always slightly overweight and I have asthma, so running was never a pleasurable experience for me. I always assumed that it was just something I wasn’t good at.
Then, when I started reading healthy living blogs, I realized that this might not be the case. I read the stories of many bloggers who started out just like me, unable to run for even a full minute. Although these stories were inspiring, I was still weary of running. Dancey-fitness classes have always been my favorite type of workout. With the direction of my trainer, I began doing some intervals on the treadmill, combining running and walking.
Then, I recently began expanding my fitness repertoire. I have fallen in love with spin classes, and I also enjoy challenging other challenging fitness classes that once intimidated me, like Hard Core. I started to realize that maybe I was selling myself short. One, I saw a really fun 5K race that someone had shared on Facebook and decided that I could start training for it and see how it went.
I started the Couch-to-5K program last week. I decided to start with week 3, since I had already been doing some basic intervals on the treadmill. Tonight, I was scheduled to complete a week 4 workout: running three minutes followed by 90 seconds of walking, then running 5 minutes followed by two-and-a-half minutes of walking, and repeat.
While I was doing my first three minutes of running, I thought to myself: I want a challenge. What if I run for five minutes during each interval instead? Then, I was feeling good, so I wanted to further challenge myself: What if I run for one whole mile, then walk a little? After a mile, I was still going strong, so I decided: What the heck, Katie? Why don’t you just run the whole 5K? I threw my towel up over the treadmill display so I wasn’t staring at the stats and just ran. I was running at 6.0 pace, which, according to the treadmill, is a 10:00 mile.
Was it challenging? Absolutely. At times, especially during the last half-mile, I had to really push myself to keep going. I was out of breath, my stomach began to hurt a little, and I could feel the burn in my legs. But I wanted to do it, and even better than that, I knew I could do it. When I was done, I hopped off the treadmill with a major sense of accomplishment and reminded myself that I can do almost anything that I set my mind to.
Will I return to my regularly-scheduled 5K training? Probably. I want to keep building my endurance and pace myself for success. And I will never give up on some of my favorite classes, like hip-hop. I crave variety in my workout routine. However, tonight was a boost of a confidence that I really needed right now, and I’m proud to say that this is the furthest distance I have run without stopping in as long as I can remember … quite possibly ever.