Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Look Back

A Look Back

As I continue to look forward to my race on Sunday, I have also taken some time to look back on the
last year since committing to this event. In some ways, I never thought I would be where I am but in
other ways, I thought I would have been further in my journey.

A year ago, the thought of running made me sick. I knew I had never been a strong runner and was not looking forward to recommitting to shin splints, side aches, and numb feet. I remember when I had to run the mile in Jr. High in under 11minutes, I walked about half of that mile. I probably could run the mile when I was in high school, right at the end of ski season when I was taking my gym course in the spring. I was passing people and it felt great! I wanted to embrace that feeling again. It was one of those nonessential high school moments that I will never forget. I started out slow. My goal was to run a mile without having to stop to walk.

So I just started running. I was walking mostly and running a little bit here and there. I had no set
schedule and no watch. I would just run as long as I could without stopping to walk or rest. I would
watch the time on my iPod. I wouldn’t go all that long, maybe 20 seconds and then I would walk until I felt like I had my breath back, then I would jog again for a few seconds. I thought I was going to be able to run a 5k by Thanksgiving. I didn’t quite make it.

I started keeping track of my progress on Dailymile. It was great to have a place to see how much I was improving. It also helped with my motivation. I was working out after work, before I had the chance to go home and sit down on the couch. I did this in the late afternoon light and in the dark after daylight savings time. I did it until it got really cold, when I stopped for 2 months.

I wish I could say that it was the cold air that made me stop working towards running. In reality, it
was actually a compliment about how much more toned I was looking since I had started working out. Instead of keeping the hard work up, I just stopped. I wish I could explain what was going through my mind when I decided to just stop working out because I had one compliment. I would think it would work in reverse and actually push me to go harder to get even better results. But it didn’t. I thought that because I was looking thinner, I could just take a break from exercising so I did.

Into March, I decided enough was enough and I needed to get my butt out the door. I didn’t belong to
a gym so I made sure I bundled up before I headed out into the cold. I wasn’t exercising many times
a week but I was still doing it right after work before I went home for the day. I started out again not
doing any running plan. I was jogging a block or so and stopping to walk and then jogging another

In early April, I joined a group of bloggers online. We committed to doing a 5k on Memorial Day in the Twin Cities. I was nervous and excited at the same time. I was never one to put myself into a situation where I didn’t know anyone. I’ve written about that before. When I started really getting a goal in front of me is when I started training using Couch to 5k. It is an excellent program and I would recommend it to anyone. I ran that 5k in 40 minutes. I was so happy! I had ran 7 minutes without stopping. That was the longest I had gone without walking and I was so happy! 

I had my second 5k race two weeks later. I ran that one a full minute faster at 39 minutes. I was happy about that one too. I still hadn't been able to run more than five minutes at a time. I knew I had a lot of training ahead of me for the rest of the summer. I was hopeful that it wouldn't get too hot. I didn't have another opportunity to run a 5k until Labor Day. I ran that one in 38 minutes. I'm getting faster but I feel like I should be progressing faster than what I am. But overall, i'm pretty happy about my progress.

I just read the athlete guide for my race. I was aware of a time limit on the bike portion of the race (2.5 hours) but I was not aware of a time limit on the run (26 mins for 2 miles). I guess I'm not really worried about the first 2 miles but I am really worried about the second set of 2 miles after I finish my ride. The last time I did a brick workout, my shins tightened up and I could barely walk. So, now im worried because I typically run just under a 13 minute mile when my legs are feeling good. I hope hope hope I dont get pushed off the race!

Tomorrow I will talk about the goals I thought I would have achieved by now.


  1. I'm so proud of you and what you have accomplished!! You are going to ROCK that race on Saturday!!!! :)

  2. I am SO freakin proud of you! You have done such amazing hard work, you have come so far and you are, as Ann said, going to ROCK that race!!!