So running. After the half, I just never ran. Like, the thought of running would cross my mind maybe for 10 seconds, but there was ALWAYS an excuse as to why not. I’m tired, I have too much to do at home, it’s too hot, it’s too cold, it’s raining, etc, etc, etc. All excuses. But after really thinking about it, I think I was feeling discouraged. Which is really strange because I was getting better and improving! So yeah, it doesn’t make much sense to have stopped so completely. But then again, the majority of what I do makes little to no sense sometimes.
So, I registered for a race. The Make Tracks for the Zoo 5k to be exact. I may have written about this. It went ok for being sick. And then I needed to get over being sick. And then once I was over being sick, I just didn’t run.
So I registered for another race.
The Go! St. Louis All-American 5k. Also known as the course on which I set a new PR last year in the rain. This year there was zero rain and lots of nice heat and humidity. Like it was balls hot. But I sucked it up and ran that race on NO training. And I made it through and didn’t die, which is always a plus. I don’t advocate running a race with no training. If it’s something you’re doing for fun, 90% of people will probably be just fine in a 5k with no training. But if it’s something you’re serious about, don’t take a page from my book of running 5ks (and once a half marathon) with little to no training. Just don’t. It’s a terrible idea and injuries can and will happen.
So after that race, I was all yeah, I’m gonna get back into this. Just as soon as I have time. Which I had and have plenty of, I just need to stop pissing it away! So a few days later I headed out for a run. And ran a two-mile loop. Up a hill. And it sucked. It sucked so freaking hard. I was slow, it was a sloppy slog of a run. So I did what any normal person would do. And stopped running.
And then because I’m SO SMART, I registered for yet another race.
The O’Fallon Firecracker 5k. I’ve done this race every year for the past 5 or 6 years. It’s a great race. Something fun to do before you head off and eat a million calories at your annual 4th of July BBQ.
And then something happened.
I was standing in the crazy-ass packet pickup line, when I spotted one of my friends who had recently gotten into running and is doing very well. So I waved her up and she came and hung out with me in line, and we chatted with another runner. As the line slowly moved up to the check-in tables, I started to get really excited for the race. Like, really genuinely excited for the race. Which was something I hadn’t felt in a long time. If I’m going to be honest, I didn’t even feel super excited about the half. I was excited to participate in the Team in Training runs, and I did feel some excitement about the half. But it just wasn’t what I was feeling in the days and morning leading up to the 5k.
I was still feeling excited walking up to the start line, saying hi to the runner we had met in line, chatting with my friend before she lined up for the 10k, and then starting my own race. I knew not to expect anything amazing, because I hadn’t been running, but it didn’t matter what time I finished. I was just as excited to finish the race as I was to start the race.
I think I fell back in love with running.
Topping it off with the fact that I didn’t turn the wrong way, I had a really nice race. I probably could have pushed a little harder, but I’m pretty pleased with my effort.
Last night I headed out to do a hill workout at the park just up the road from my house. I decided to do four miles, because I want to do the local 5k coming up next weekend, and a bunch of little two milers isn’t going to cut it. The hill is hard, and it definitely had me slowing way down and huffing and puffing to make it up. But the first two miles went by pretty well. The third mile, I was feeling my couch potato-ness. And the last quarter of the fourth mile was spent walking because I had stomach issues that felt code orange and I didn’t want to push that into code red territory! But I feel pretty good today, and I’m really excited to continue my running and training for the rest of the year.