…To think about how far you’ve come!
I’ve been mulling this over for the past few weeks or so, thinking about how far my running and exercising in general have come. I started running during the summer of 2005. Up until that time I’d done summer swim team and marching band, but not much else in terms of athletics (if you even want to call those “athletics”).
At that time, it was a feat just to complete a mile run, which wasn’t even a full loop around the neighborhood across from the pool where I worked. I remember the first time I completed the loop (in it’s entirety 1.4 mi) without stopping and my boyfriend (now husband) who’d become my running buddy couldn’t believe that I done it.
My first 5k was the 2007 Cannonball Run in Greensboro which my (now) husband and sister-in-law ran with me. They kept me running the whole thing and I finished in a respectable 32:51. My second 5k, the Greensboro Gobbler, was held about a month an half after the first and took place on the same course. I remember that race being horrible, cold, cramping and including a good bit of walking and complaining. It also took quite a bit longer at 37:42.
From those first few races and through the next few years, my times remained in the 31-33 minute range. I was always nervous before the race because running 3.1 miles was a BIG deal. I rarely ran a full 5k distance in any of my training. And to be honest, I wouldn’t even call it training. My relationship with running was generally an “on the rocks,” “on-again off-again” one. And sometimes it still is today…
The difference today is that I know how to handle those low points. I guess I’m better with conflict resolution (at least when it comes to running). When a bad, slow or unmotivated run shows up during the week, I know it can’t get me down and I have to get back out and try twice as hard to have a good run. Because once I have a good run, I can’t wait to hit the pavement again for my next run!
I’ve also really got to hand it to my husband and my sisters-in-law. They keep me motivated by always being active and finding fun new races. My sis-in-law, Stephanie, is really inspiring me right now as she trains for her first marathon (only two weeks away!). She keeps me on my toes and thinking “well if she can do it… I can certainly give it a try!”
In return, I hope I’m paying their motivation forward to my parents and brother. My mom and dad have both recently started running and it was awesome to have them both do a July 4th 5k with Jason and I. My brother has started to play intramural soccer and has committed to doing a mud run soon. He also seemed to have a bit of interest in tris after I did my first one back in June. I’ll see if I can get him on board in next season.
Anyways, so my point was that today I can look back at how far I’ve come and not be nervous before a 5k race because I do at least 3 miles on most runs these days. This year I wasn’t even too anxious before the Cooper River Bridge Run 10k. But it’s take time and patience and motivation.
I’m now looking ahead to a half marathon and perhaps a marathon, which I can’t even fathom right now. My hope is that I’ll continue to progress and one day think about those longer distances the same way I think about 5ks today.
So, take your training one step at a time (literally) and don’t let a “bad run” get you down. Get back out there, find someone who motivates you and stick to it, because one day you’ll look back and be AMAZED at how far you’ve come!