Thursday, May 30, 2013

Back to Running

I did it again. I have been dabbling in running the last few months. I usually get the itch to start running in the spring. The sleepy hibernating months of winter are gone and I get the urge to get active again. I have learned that it works best for me to have a goal. So I sign up for a couple of 5ks and then start building up my miles so I am able to run them. I know from past experience that I really don't do well with a training program. I like the freedom to just run when and how long I want to. Since we had such a late spring this year, I ended up joining a little gym down the road from our house. While it doesn't have all the amenities that the other gym I belonged to did, it has one huge advantage. It is right by our house. On the days that it was too cold (or snowy) for my liking, I would get up and go to the gym usually first thing in the morning. Now that it is nice enough I have been doing my running outside, but I still try to stop by the gym to get my gym credits for our health care reimbursement program.
The first 5k for my season was a couple of weeks ago and it went really well. I have always been trying to break the 30 minute mark in my 5ks and while I have come oh so close, I hadn't yet been able to do it. For this run, I just wanted to get it done. I knew I would have a few more races over the summer to really work on my time if I felt like it. I just wanted to have a fun run. I got to the venue plenty early and lined up with the over 8000 other runners and walkers. (It is a big race in our town.) I lined up toward the middle of the 30-35 minute pace group. And when we started, I had fun. I was passing people, but people were also passing me. It was a good relaxed run. They didn't have a clock at the end and I didn't have any clue about my time. I just walked to my car and drove home. Well, I checked my time online when I got there and I had done it in 28 minutes and 46 seconds. Apparently I need to always just run to have fun and then the time will take care of itself. Good to know.
So, since I had been running, when Laurel from the blog Ducks in a Row asked if anyone wanted to run 50 miles in May with her, I thought, that it sounded like a good idea. I have been keeping track of my mileage all month long and checking in with Laurel. Last week it was looking like I might not be able to make it, but just this morning, I ran my 50th mile for the month. It feels good to know that I can do that. (Funny thing is that I was all proud of reaching this accomplishment and then I saw that one of my cousins ran 60 miles in a week!! Just shows that everyone has different goals and successes.)
And do you know what? The best part of all of this for me is that running puts me in such a better mental state. It really changes my entire mindset. I feel healthy, I eat healthier, and I am just plain happier. Totally worth the time and little bit of money spent.
I have another 5k toward the middle of June and then I am doing a Run or Dye toward the end of the month. So I am looking forward to keeping my running shoes laced up and on the pavement.


Emily said...

Good for you! I intended to do this challenge - didn't run a single mile :) A sub 30 minuted 5K is my goal - maybe this fall it will happen! Good luck in June!

Anonymous said...

I love to run but I am not very fast at all. In fact, when I started to run at the free track years ago, my goal was to make sure that none of the walkers were passing me! Talk about motivation :)

Reading this reminds me of how much I miss running. If it ever stops raining, I will have go again.