Trying to put the feelings going through my head right now into words is difficult. I have so many all at once. Today I ran my first official 10K. I have only run more than 5 miles twice. So I wasn't sure how well I would do. I knew I would finish, that wasn't the question. I wasn't sure if I would finish running or walking. I am happy to report that I was running to the end.
I was super excited as they started releasing the runners. I couldn't get the smile off of my face. That is so weird to me. I never wanted to run until a year and eight months ago. Something just changed inside of me. I became a runner.
I knew I wanted to keep an even pace as I ran, but taking advantage of the downhill portions as best I could and when I felt a little extra energy. I did not push myself too hard. I have learned that if I do that it forces me to walk. That was NOT my goal this morning. I wanted to run as much of the race as I could without stopping unless I had to. And I didn't want to walk any of it other than through the water stations, since I prefer to drink my water instead of wear it.
There were four water stations spread out over the 6.2 miles. I skipped the first one. I did not slow my pace until we were right around the corner from mile 3. I did that only so I could drink a small cup of water. I walked through three water stations and I stopped three times to stretch my calves. It helped me to keep going and not walk. My feet did great until after I had crossed the mile 5 marker. Then they started bothering me. But I kept going. The last time I stretched my legs and my feet it didn't help my feet as much as I would have liked.
I know that will be my biggest challenge as I increase my distance for the Half in August. I am going to have to take it slowly and add just a quarter mile a week until I reach that 13 miles. I will increase my weight training so that I can get stronger and build muscle at the same time that I increase my distance.
My last mile was the slowest but still a good time. My tracker says I finished it in 1 hour and 22 minutes. That is amazing to me! I usually take a little bit longer, probably five minutes or so longer. Once I got over the finish line and stopped running my excitement returned two fold. I DID IT. I really did it. And I did it in record time, for me.
I have signed up for a couple of 5K's, one in March and one in April but I am going to be working on training for the Half during this time. My goal is to run three days a week. Tuesdays - 4 miles. Thursdays - 5 miles and Saturday or Sunday depending on when I can run - 6 miles plus .25 of a mile more each week. I know that will take a long time to build up to 13.1 miles but I have until August 2 to accomplish it. I also plan to do weight/strength training three days a week; Monday, Wednesday and Fridays. I also want to have one day that I will be doing stretching and rolling exercises to stay limber and help prevent injury. That will be whatever day is my off day, Saturday or Sunday. I will add a walk on that day, when possible.
My eating is something I need to keep working on. Doing more running and more weights is going to cause me to become even more hungry. So I need to feed my body healthy things that will keep me strong and not make me gain weight, only muscle. I can't wait to see the progress I will make by the beginning of summer and beyond. I just have to keep my mind focused and not get off track.
I hope you have set some goals for yourself. We all need to be more active and eat better. It isn't as hard as we make it. One step at a time. One day at a time. You can do it!
Changing my life one day at a time.