I don’t really consider myself a “runner”. It’s something I started doing last year about this time because I got tired of the way I looked. I didn’t think I was “fat” or anything; I just knew swimsuit season was around the corner and I didn’t want to dread it. For once in my life. I’d been hearing a lot about C25k and how awesome it was. I decided that if the people I knew that were doing it could be successful, so could I.
Let me just say I hated running. I avoided it at all costs. Just ask my high school volleyball coaches. I was a pitiful runner.
But I was determined. I was going to do this. Really do it. So I bought an app (yes, I paid for one. I figured if I paid for it I was more likely to actually do the program than if I had gotten the free one. I’m a thinker. Anyway, my logic worked) and I started running the next day. I wasn’t into it at first, but after the first week I was hooked. And I was actually running farther and longer than I thought I could!
I ran my first 5k 5 weeks into the program, in the heat of the summer. Again, I was determined…obviously. I mean, who in their right mind runs their first 5k in June in the hottest summer on record?! Me. And I did pretty well. Well, for me. I finished in 45 minutes. I realize this is not a great time but I had never run that far without walking in my life, so I was just proud that I did it.
Fast forward to Monday of this week. It seemed like a harmless “running date” with my friend Jessica (who runs marathons and is skinny and beautiful and who I have dubbed my “sensei”), but it was actually quite a game-changer, so to speak. She informed me that we were going to run 3 miles with no walking (something I had not done in 8 months, since the 5k. I’d only been doing 1.5 mile runs). I thought she was crazy. I think she saw this on my face. She then told me that running was mostly mental and most of the time people think they need to walk, they don’t, and that when I thought I wanted to walk, I had to push through. Basically, she was saying, “Unless you’re going to literally die, don’t stop.” So I did. And I did all 3 miles. And I didn’t even feel like I was going to die!
I kept all this in my head when I went for my run tonight. I told myself I was going to do 4 miles, so that my sensei would be proud of me. So that I would be proud of me. I only wanted to quit twice. I pushed through, and ran 4 miles with no walking! That may not be such a big deal for some of you, but it’s huge for me. Huge. I have never run more than 3.1 miles at a time. Ever. And the best part? I got to the 3.1 mile mark in 36 minutes! So I shaved 9 minutes off of my 5k time. Goal accomplished: I was proud of myself. I was giggling like an idiot on my cool-down-walk home. I didn’t care.
So for those of you who think you can’t run, you can. You just have to get out there and do it. Seriously, if I can do it, anyone can.