Of my goals for 2011, this one is, by far, one of the more intimidating ones for me.
I've tried on running several times in my life, and ultimately I end up getting bored or distracted or just plain lazy and I stop. So, I figured making it a goal of mine for this year would help to motivate me to actually complete a 5K. I ran one back in 2009, but I had to walk a portion of it. My goal for this year was to run the entire 5K course.
My training for it was relatively simple. Put on shoes, go outside, and run. I used a Couch to 5K app on my iPod Touch that helped motivate me with spoken cues and my own playlists of running tunes. Mason was a great running companion. But, I stalled out right around Week 8 or 9 -- where the goal was to run for 25 mins straight. And, while that was a challenge for me for sure, I had little motivation to push myself even further. Based on my running pace, I needed to run closer to 35 mins straight to complete the full 5K.
Lucky (and unbeknowist to me), my friend Laura was also taking up running again. She didn't have a 'goal' per se, but the challenge of running a 5K was intriguing to her. Our first run together was her first real run outside. She was afraid about pacing herself, but it turns out that I am a pretty good pacer and kept us going at a good speed where she didn't too tired and could make it further. Our first run together we did an interval training of 5 mins running, 3 mins walking, 8 mins running, 3 mins walking and 5 mins running.
With the 5K fast approaching, we decided to just 'do It' (sorry Nike). So, two days before the race, she came over to practice the 5K route with me. We started out with our warm up (5 mins walking) and then eased into the run. We felt good, so we kept going...and kept going...and decided after 25 mins of running was up, we would run through the 5 mins cool down. And then, after that was done, we decided we were so close to getting the full 5K done, that we would just keep running. And, lo and behold, we ran the ENTIRE 5K course. Wow.
Now, the real challenge was upon us. We had to re-do this lofty accomplishment, do it with others present, and finish the 5K on actual race day. I know there were times while we were running it that I wanted to just stop and walk a bit. Laura says she felt the same (but I wonder if she's just saying it to make me feel better). In any case, we ROCKED it. Our first mile was 10:45! That was a record for both of us (except for the time my dad made me run a ~9 min mile, but that was a total fluke). It pumped us up and kept us going. We ended up finishing the race in just under 35 mins. No world records for us, but we did the whole thing RUNNING. No walking at all! Our goal wasn't for speed, it was for endurance and we ROCKED IT!
I don't have any pictures of this awesome accomplishment, so you'll just have to take my word for it.
Edited to add, here is my proof...the results!
#2 -- CHECK!