I want to take some time to tell you about an accomplishment that has nothing to do with my Thirty by 30 list.
Growing up, I have always hated running. Like, seriously hated. I never minded activities that involved running, like kickball, and I played tennis (well) throughout junior high and high school. But anytime we had to just simply run, and especially when we had to do a timed mile, I would’ve rather been anywhere else in the world. In elementary school, my (attitudinal) friends and I took pride in the fact that we set the record for the slowest mile time… 33 minutes.
Over the last few months, however, I have been training with Aaron on a running program called Couch to 5K. The C25K program works you up from a simple set of walk-jog intervals to a full 30-minute jog over the course of nine weeks. Aaron convinced me to do the first week of workouts with him, and I never stopped. It’s not that I enjoyed running—my favorite part of each workout was when it was finally over and I could collapse on the carpet—but I picked up a new-found interest in accomplishing something so huge that I would have to seriously work hard to make it happen.
This morning, Aaron and I ran in our first-ever 5K race. Together with a group of friends from church, some of whom have also been doing the C25K program, we participated in the Music in Plymouth 5K Run.
The race was tougher than I expected. For starters, I underestimated how much the change from running with just Aaron to running with over 300 people would affect me. It took probably a whole minute just to get across the starting line and separate a bit from the dense pack of people. Also, the consistency of my pace was thrown off by having to dodge slower runners and get out of the way of faster ones. The route itself was unfamiliar to me, too, which messed with me a bit mentally. Finally, there was a very steep hill toward the very end of the course that I just couldn’t handle. I was bummed to have to walk so close to the finish, but I didn’t trust my muscles to get me up the hill. I did, however, pick up the pace again for the final stretch and across the finish line.
I finished the 3.1-mile race as finisher #107 out of 199 women, with a time of 33:51. (For those of you paying attention, that’s just slightly longer than the one-mile “record” time from my younger days.)
It was so exciting to complete the race, and especially to do it with some of my best friends. I’m so proud of what we accomplished today and over the last couple of months. And while I don’t currently plan to make racing an ongoing activity, I’m thrilled to have pushed myself to accomplish something that I never thought I could.
WE DID IT!