Friday, December 22, 2006
My Journey to Become a Runner - Part 1 - The 5K
Today I found some pictures and my race number from my very first race - the day I became a runner. That day was Sept 21, 2002. I have run on and off all my life since I was growing up in Vermont. I usually would run a mile or so as a way to stay fit. I never entered a race until my 40th birthday approached. I decided to train for and run my first 5K. I remember the training well....I started by running 30 sec and walking 30 seconds. Then worked my way up to 60 sec run, 30 sec walk. Soon I was running 4 min, then 7 min, then 9 minutes without stopping. I used to read on-line about folks who could run an entire hour without stopping. That seemed just so amazing to me. I ran the entire 5K without stopping (except for water I think) in 35 min 44 seconds. I was very excited!
Fast forward to today. After going to bed a bit late last night, I slept in a bit before hitting the road around 9 am for an 8 mile run. I checked the weather and things did not look ideal. Low to mid 70s with 75% humidity. It was going to be hot. I packed my normal 8 mile stuff - fuel belt with water and gatorade, 1 Cliff shot for halfway, ipod and the trusty Garmin.
The first few miles felt like my 3 mile run the other day - I felt tired and really not into the run. I was wondering if maybe I had burned myself out. I was wondering where the charge from my run had gone. I got to about mile 6 and started to finally feel "normal" - I could push myself and not feel so tired. It was like my body woke up and began to enjoy the run. The last mile was a good push, and in spite of a slow start, I finished the run in 1 hour 30 minutes, about my normal 8 mile pace.
Tomorrow will be an off day with a 14 mile long run scheduled for Sunday morning. The plan is to rest up and get up early for the run, hoping that it won't be raining too much. If it is raining, I still want to run. I haven't done any training in the rain - this would be a good chance to do that in case the race ends up on a rainy day. I will have to leave the iPod home if that is the case, or cleverly protect it in a plastic baggie or something.
The "journey" part 2 will be on the quest for the Half Marathon.