One year, 246 miles and a lot of smiles later..

5k collageI can’t believe it was a year ago that I began my running adventure!! Honestly, I was hoping to make it a few months; I never thought a year was possible. It hasn’t been without its ups and downs, but wow – one year and well over 200 miles logged!

When I first laced up my sneakers, I did it to step out of my comfort zone and feel what my students feel when I ask them to step out of their comfort zones. I had support from my husband, kids and a few friends; but mostly people in my life didn’t understand why I was doing it. I was already “in-shape” why did I need to run?

A year later, most of my family and friends not only support me, but they have run along side me at a 5k or held signs and watched the boys. The perspective has changed for many of us.

Getting it done

Running is often the first activity knocked off the list when I have a busy week with the kids home. This no longer stops me from picking it back up the next week. Somehow, I have found time and not let busy weeks discourage me. This winter has been brutal and I have struggled with the treadmill. I came to peace with it and did what I could. Finally, the sun has come out and some days, it’s above freezing. I have run outside twice!

My outside running has happened on the beach. The first time, my music didn’t work and it was HARD! I enjoyed hearing the waves, but I could hear my heavy breathing and I was very aware of how difficult it was, while still enjoying the beauty. Thanks to the last year, I didn’t give up because it was a struggle and not perfect. I kept going and put in the distance I was determined to hit. I’ve learned how to cheer myself on and get it done! After my struggle, I killed it on the treadmill! It seemed so much “easier” and my determination was back.

This week at the beach, my music was working and I was determined to have a “better” run – and I did :). I was able to find a good pace, breathe and take in the scenery. I never thought I could run, let alone run at the beach. I’m not sure my times will be better this race season, but I’m hopeful!

Running friends

I’ve always known people who run. My husband, friends and co-workers all ran. Frankly, this intimidated me. I was slow and walked and any other excuse you can think of – I had it and used it to not run with others. As my friends (who didn’t run historically) began to join my journey, I realized the pace didn’t matter. I just wanted them to join me and have fun. I wanted to cheer them on!

I realized, I could run with my other friends. They might not want me on every run, but I shouldn’t make the decision for them. If they say it’s ok, I need to trust that and have fun. I also know how to say, I’m not going to keep up and go ahead. That’s OK too 🙂

My running posse has grown more than I could have imagined and I hope it continues to grow! I love being a part of a group and running is no different. I think that’s why I love 5Ks 😉

Mental strength

Some days are better than others. When I got started, I really put in the effort. I had a specific goal and really didn’t want to embarrass myself. As the racing season began to wind down, it was harder to find that mental strength. It was easier to justify walking and not pushing it as hard. Thankfully, I got through my slump and am re-energized. It always feels better when I finish a hard run that I know I pushed myself 🙂

The future

We are in the process of selecting 5Ks for this year. The plan is to repeat the ones from last year and add a few more. One of my friends and I considered working towards a 10k. That has been tabled for now. I am sure we will revisit it in the future. Currently, I’m happy working on and enjoying 5Ks. I can’t imagine what a year from now will look like 🙂

Have you stepped out of your comfort zone?  What’s the biggest exercise risk you’ve taken?

4 thoughts on “One year, 246 miles and a lot of smiles later..

  1. You are very enthusiastic about running and that will fuel your progress. Best thing about any workout is making it fun. The 5k is my favorite distance and I look forward to running some this year. The biggest challenge was the Woman’s Half Marathon, Nasville in September 2010. I was so nervous as I was concerned about not logging enough long runs. It turned out to be fun and it helped to have my family cheering for me along the route. My goal was to simply finish, and not stress over time. It was fun to run with a couple thousand other ladies, and hear live music from bands performing along the route. At the end we got a cool medal with a sterling silver charm in it. There was a booth set up to put the charm on a prepurchased silver chain. That was a bit of incentive to earn that little silver charm. 🙂 Guess a little bling is a good motivator!

  2. Pingback: 500 miles and counting! | Simply Modern Dance

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