Yesterday I found myself unexpectedly solo at the starting line of the Run for Women.
My friend had to pull out last minute for very understandable reasons and I seriously considered giving it a pass myself. I was feeling too tired and stressed and we had a lot to do that day. Quitting would have been the easy thing to do.
And as soon as I realized that I made the decision to go through with it and just walk most of the way. It’s such a beautiful course – most of it winding through an old growth forest – and it was for a cause that I think is so vitally important – mental health.
We set off and I found myself unexpectedly caught up with a group of runners that matched my usual pace well. So I went with it….
And despite tripping on an exposed root and nearly face-planting into a tree – I bet I looked so hilarious! – I kept moving and finished with a pretty respectable time.
Post race I picked up my incredible swag bag – seriously this thing was worth hundreds! – and got in the line for a free pancake breakfast where I ran into a good friend I hadn’t seen in ages. We chatted and caught up over pancakes – love those unexpected moments – and then it was time to head back to reality.
Was it a great run? Nope. Was it more than worth my time and energy? Hells ya!
See you again next year Run for Women.
A few years ago I ran my first ever running race – the Neverland 5k at Disneyland. It was a moment of great accomplishment for me. It signalled the start of a new me. I thought within a few years I would have several more medals to my credit.
There have been more races since then – an 8K, a very hot and sweaty 5K & a few other runs – but nothing longer than the 8k even though my goal had always been to keep running further and further.
I like running (really I swear I do!) but there were times that I questioned if it was really for me. I wondered if I was trying to push my body to do something it wasn’t really equipped to do. It was hard and I never seemed to be able to run farther than 5K. And I never seemed to manage to run any faster.
But I persevered because I loved the feeling when I finished a tough run. Maybe all I needed was a new goal.
Like another awesome RunDisney race maybe. But this time I’d do the 10k where I would get an actual metal medal instead of the plastic one you get for the 5k.
When I found out the run weekend in January had been re-branded to a Star Wars theme I knew it was settled. This would be all I needed to get back into running…to get back to what I started.
Plans were made. Tickets were booked. Hubby signed up for the half marathon and I for the 10k. And I decided to follow the RunDisney Training program this time and see if that helped.
And guess what – spoiler alert! – following a training program and actually committing to running on a regular basis actually HELPS! Crazy right?
I started out slow but then I got into a rhythm. And with that came running successes that I hadn’t achieved in years.
And oh boy did those achievements feel good. So good that when I realized my training program was calling for me to run 7km I was confident I could do it. And I did.
As we made have made our way into December my world has gotten a lot busier and my ability to commit to the training program has waned. And while that’s not the way I had hoped it would go I now have the confidence to believe I can get right back up to speed when I need to.
Just over a month to go now. Just keep running…just keep running…
It occurred to me recently that in just over two months I will be competing in my first ever obstacle course race and then in just over 5 months I will be doing my first 10k race.
And as I’m pretty much not doing any running at all it also occurred to me that I was likely setting myself up for failure and it was time to change that.
Since injuring my ankle in mid-June I went back to interval runs of 2mins running and 1min walking and that makes for a pretty slow pace. But it seems to work for me so I decided to keep that pacing and up my total distance.
My goal was to do 6k in 45 mins. It didn’t happen…
The day was hot and humid and I (very smartly) decided to run on empty stomach…so in the end managed this:
The views were pretty good – and my face wasn’t too red (that was at the beginning)…
And I was proud of myself for doing it. Next week I will try again for my 6k goal. And then in September I’m going to start the offical runDisney training program for the Star Wars 10k.
So for now my own pace is my own pace and hey…at least I’m not sitting on the couch all day.
PS – I was so very sweaty at the end of this run that going to bathroom had me like Ross in Friends with his leather pants…they just would not pull back up.