Why in the world would anyone want to run in a 10K race? I’ve asked that question myself many times, and even provided my own answer: “They must be NUTS!!” Now I find myself doing exactly that. Am I nuts now too???
What prompted me to take on such a feat? First off, I was looking for something to jump- start my lethargic workouts. Doing the same stuff year in and year out is getting old. Second, I’m not enjoying those extra pounds that are creeping up here and there due to my older and slower metabolic state. At my last check-up, my doctor suggested trying something more aerobic than what my body was used to, to shed the extra weight. She listed some activities to try and running was at the top. I will admit, I have been curious about running off and on through the years but I always found some excuse to not try it (my back, my knees, I don’t like breathing super hard, it is boring, etc.). Then, in the last month, all these people I know are running in races. Young moms with little kids, women around my age, and the corker, a middle aged husband of a friend who has been a self declared couch potato for over 30 years. Now all of a sudden he’s running a half marathon. So, I got to thinking, maybe this is a sign that I need to be running.
I mentioned this premonition to Ericka S., my walking partner, and told her I was going to act on it. I asked her if she wanted to do it too. We could become official training buddies I told her and she agreed. Scary commitment but we were on our way. We decided to bypass a 5K and go straight for a 10K because we figured we are already walking about 5-6 miles a couple times a week. Heck, it can’t be that much harder to run the same distance, right? Ericka got the assignment to find a race. My job was to locate a cute, matching race outfit to show we were a team. I suggested to Ericka some criteria to consider when finding a race. It should be near by where we live, part of the entrance fee should go to a charitable cause and it should provide cool swag to the participants. The race we ultimately signed up for is happening on Saturday, September 22, 2012 at Bonelli Park in San Dimas, CA. It’s called, “Girls on the Go,” and is only open to women, a non-threatening environment for our first attempt at this sort of thing.
To get us started in our preparation, several people recommended the training method, “From Couch Potato to 5K.”
This particular method is designed for those of us who have never run before. It has you walk a few minutes, run a few minutes, then walk a few minutes, building up over time. We did this for a couple of weeks. Remarkably, we did not die or even have to go to an emergency room, as we began this program.
The official first day of training for our 10K was July 16, 2012. We switched to using the program for a 10K found in the book, Train Like a Mother.
On July 16th, I was in Provo, Utah (elevation 4,549 feet) finishing up a vacation and Ericka was at home in our lovely city of Rancho Cucamonga, California (elevation 1,371 feet). On the first day, we were supposed to run for 3 miles followed by 4 repetitions of high speed strides lasting 30 seconds each. We both were able to complete our first workout, however, neither of us could run the entire 3 miles without a couple brief stops. In my 20’s or 30’s and maybe even my 40’s, I would have counted myself a failure because I didn’t run the whole time. But now that I am in my 50’s, I don’t fall for that trap anymore. I was a success because:
A. I got out of bed
B. I ran straight for 2 whole miles before stopping
C. I kept running after my brief stops, and
D. I finished 3 miles.
The stride work was my favorite part. Going faster in short bursts meant longer steps and that felt great. Also, I like speed. (In 7th grade, I held my junior high’s record for the 50 yard dash — whoo hoo).
One other thing that I did during this first day of training that I have never, ever done before in my life, was to spit in public. You just gotta do what you gotta do.
So, I am off and running (pardon the pun) on this 10K adventure. Please stick around as I blog about my future training and hopefully, my successful completion of my first race.
Have you ever tried something you never thought you would do? Are you a runner? How did you start out? I’d love to hear your story.