So proud of her for finishing her first 5k after running for only two weeks!You've probably heard of the Couch to 5k program, but have you heard of the revolutionary Marathon to 5k? No? Oh, right, because it doesn't exist. Regardless, I found myself in that very category this weekend when I finished my first race since the marathon; the Sweet Onion 5k for School Health and it was just what I needed.
After we got home from Newport, I took three days off then I was right back at it, following the Hal Higdon marathon recovery plan to the letter. Three weeks later we went on vacation (actually revisiting Newport) and I didn't even pack my running gear for that weekend. When we got back home, I found that I'd wake up in the morning with my running goal flitting on the surface of my subconscious, then when my head would sink into the pillow at night it would be another day I'd gone without running. That happened for ten long days. I felt bloated, kind of cranky and also not just a little bit relieved to finally not have my days dictated by a training schedule. But mostly I just knew I needed to get back out there.
I'm registered for three things in the coming months; an open water swim, the Columbia Crossing, in September, The Walla Walla Half-Marathon in October and the Rock 'n Roll Half in VEGAS in December. I've never been to Vegas before and I can't imagine a better way to see the strip than running it at night with thousands of my closest strangers. The best part is that I'm travelling there to meet up with some of my original running team from Worcester; I'm ecstatic. But that also means that I can't stop running anytime soon, as my goal for these next two is to run the whole thing save for water breaks. I know I can do it, it's just going to be a big mental game. Now, how to get there?
I saw on facebook that one of my friends was just starting her running career and I eagerly invited myself to join in their mama train of jogging strollers through parks as they embarked on the C25k program. My overall pace was starting to pick up just two weeks in; it's amazing what intervals can do for the ol' confidence level! I asked if they'd be interested in going for longer runs on the weekends with me, and they were game, so we did a three mile run that first weekend and they killed it. It is so fun to be part of someone else's journey. After running so many miles in training it was so refreshing to take a step back and be part of the little victories that happen along the way; the first mile run without stopping to walk, the first time you charge a hill and rock it to the top.
Last weekend we all ran the 5k together and those stinkers all beat me! I finished with an average of just over 12 minute miles, so they did great! So much for being the 'experienced' runner. I hadn't run a 5k since I ran the UMass 5k in Worcester almost two years ago, and it was good to see that my time has improved significantly since then.
More than anything, the accountability provided by being part of a group is something I'd really been missing. Knowing that they'd all have joggers the majority of the time has left me with zero excuses. I haven't even had my iPod with me for over a month! The kids like being able to come with me, and it's nice to have that time with them when they can really see that I'm exercising, not just know it because they're in child watch at the Y (which is also a life-saver and I'll be using it today).
Thanks ladies for a great 5k, and letting me be part of a whole new segment of your lives! We're going to have fun as you work toward crossing that 10k finish line in October! No matter what your goals, it's always nice to have a feeling of accomplishment and sometimes it's just getting back out there and putting one foot in front of the other that gets you there.
Next up: Unofficial Do Life 5k in Portland on Tuesday at 6:30. Be there!