Monday, May 28, 2012

I did it!

I run for many reasons. I run because I have to. (The Air Force requires a biannual assessment of fitness, part of which is a 1.5-mile run.) I run because it is easy. (All I need is a good pair of shoes, some music 30 minutes of spare time, and my workout is done.) I run for stress relief. (I miss those endorphins if I skip more than a day or two.) I run to spend time with friends. (When time is limited and both a workout and a chat are needed, a run is a great way to accomplish both at once.) And I run because I am competitive and enjoy accomplishing a goal, beating my last time or achieving a new distance.

But even with all that, I never wanted to run in races. The thought of all those people, the adrenaline that comes with a race and doing “my” run on someone else’s schedule just never appealed to me.

In January, my running partner at work suggested we do a half marathon. I gave the excuses listed above and said, “No, thank you.” But, shortly afterward, when my sister and her son completed their first half marathon and loved it, my mind opened to the possibilities. Besides, my runs had started getting a little stale, the stressors at work had started piling up and I needed a new challenge. So I acquiesced, and my running partner and I signed up for the Colfax Half Marathon—three months away at the time—and started training.

Friends who had done marathons and half marathons gave advice—one sent a training plan— and we fit runs into our afternoons as much as possible. Even with the plan, it was tough to fit too much distance into my week. Between, homework and ski season, there was little time for long runs. And, with my boy’s recent health concerns, I didn’t relish the idea of running on weekend mornings and leaving the kiddos home for very long. Another friend was kind enough to find a few afternoons free, and we managed an eight-mile loop around a local reservoir, my longest runs leading up to race day.

Race day actually started in what I normally consider the middle of the night–4 a.m! With a 6 a.m. start, I needed to be at a friend’s house by 5:15 to walk to the start. Yes, we walked two miles to the start of the 13.1 mile course, ran the race, and then walked the two miles back to our cars. Crazy! But, it all culminated in a great morning. Although the crowd was big, it was part of the experience and, with friends around. it wasn’t nearly as intimidating as I had feared. I finished in 2:07, running a sub 10-minute mile the entire way. The sense of accomplishment is still with me a week later.

I think our next half will be the Rock and Roll in late September, with a few shorter races—and maybe even one of those mud runs — before that, as well. It is true: Once you do one, you’re hooked!

For Reflections on Nursing Leadership (RNL), published by the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International.

1 comment:

  1. That is so inspirational!
    From somewhat of a lax lifestyle (one that many of us suffer, being in front of a computer screen too much) I decided I might try my hand at a 5k (just to get things started) and trained much as you did.
    Well, although my run was much shorter, reading your account has reinvigorated me to go after the illustrious 10k!

    Thank you!