I knew I wouldn’t be able to update this very much since school started, but I had to take the time to do so after this weekend. I will first give an update from about a month ago:
I was running around the block and after getting past the first mile I thought I could keep going and so I was able to run 2 miles. I slowed down to a walk but I felt good and I wasn’t completely out of breath like I have been before. After the weather started getting more drizzly and it got darker after my classes let out, I had to start running more at the gym on the treadmill. A couple weeks ago I finally was able to run 3.1 miles straight on the treadmill. Being able to run the full 5k straight, has been a goal of mine for a long time so I knew starting it on the treadmill was one step closer. I only did that twice on the treadmill before the Lighting the Way run I did Sunday in Redlands.
The run started at 8am and all I wanted from it was to be able to run the full thing. I didn’t care how long it would take me; I didn’t even care if it took me longer than my first 5k (37 min 37 sec). The race started and everyone seemed to bolt off. That was the first mistake I was not going to make- not to start off too fast and tire myself out. I tried to keep a nice, slow pace and as I did so, many people passed me. Every bit of me wanted to go faster and get in front of people, but I knew what my ultimate goal was and I had to keep focused on that. At around mile 1, I saw my friend Tory right next to me and she indicated that it had only been 10 minutes. A 10 minute mile!? I couldn’t believe with how slow I felt like I was going, I had just finished my fastest mile to date. It started to also make more sense why that first mile seemed so difficult to get through. Things only got easier and more empowering from there on out, though. Not only did I start to pass up all those people who outran me in the beginning, but I felt amazing. My breath had steadied and I had a nice pace going. It was extremely cold outside so as I ran, my body started to warm up and the only indication that it was cold was the breath I could see right in front of me and the tips of my fingers feeling like ice. They didn’t have the second mile marker out, so I wasn’t sure how long we had gone until I met back up with Tory at around 30 minutes. When she told me it had been 30 minutes, I knew we hadn’t only passed mile two, but we were getting close to the end. Sure enough, around the corner, I could see a crowd of people and balloons with the finish line. I thought “you just have to sprint this last part and you will be done!” As I went to sprint, I quickly noticed that the last stretch was a hill. Sprinting up that hill was one of the most exhausting things ever and I thought for sure I was going to puke if I didn’t focus on the ground in front of me. One step at a time, I thought.
My time ended up being 34 minutes and 45 seconds. I didn’t just meet my goal of running the entire thing in under 40, but I surpassed it and ran it even faster than my first 5k! The inspiration I get from other people, is the greatest motivator ever. Being able to run it in with one of my best friends, Tory, and seeing how excited she was as well, motivated me to continue doing these runs with her. Seeing my friend Kale do the 10k and how hard she pushed to run the whole thing, was inspiring and just plain incredible. Having my amazing boyfriend there to kiss me and tell me what a great job I did, made me glow with excitement and having Kale’s entire family there to support her and to even have them give me words of encouragement was extremely touching. The whole experience was moving and I couldn’t be happier as we stood there, having had our amazing results, while waiting for Kale to rock our socks off with her sprint to the end as well.
I cannot wait for the next run and I know I will only do even better. My love for running, especially outside in the cold, was definitely renewed that day.