In the last month, I’ve competed in two 5K events and I’m ready to set a schedule for the upcoming months. There’s no rest for the weary.
(Unless it’s raining outside. Then I will rest, no matter what. Because now matter how hardcore you are, there’s no need to run in the rain).
As much as I hated running when I first started, I’ve grown to enjoy it somewhat. Now that my muscles have strengthened and my cardiac endurance has increased, a brisk five-mile jog feels less like torture and more like freedom. Sure, it hurts sometimes. But I’ve learned that it’s easiest to keep moving through the pain, and eventually it goes away.
The 5K races were fun, but I’m beginning to focus on longer efforts. As exciting as it is to quickly and easily run four miles, my workouts need to be longer than what that now takes me. For fat-burning, endurance-building purposes, I need to be exercising for a minimum of 45-60 minutes. So I’ve been pushing myself to go just a little bit more.
That brings me to my next point: it’s becoming critical to have a workout buddy. I’m lucky that Marie is around. She used to run competitively and is naturally incredibly fast, so working with her pushes my limits. And she finds it helpful to run with me, since my pace helps her complete longer runs and build endurance. When you know you’re accountable to someone, you’re more likely to complete your workouts. Plus, I just enjoy running with her. Marie and I both live in Midtown, but about two miles apart – on opposite sides of Piedmont Park. This means we can warm up by jogging to the midpoint, then have some great terrain to tackle together.
This past Sunday, we had plans to run at 9:00 am. We would meet in the middle and then take the newly opened Beltline trail for our distance run. Well, my internal clock usually wakes me up by 8:30, even on weekends, so I didn’t bother setting an alarm. Unfortunately, I woke up at 9:04 to Marie’s 25-minute-old text message: “leaving my house in 5-10!” That put her on foot, somewhere very close to my place. I was groggy, half-asleep, and would have loved returning to fully asleep. But three minutes later, I was out the door because I couldn’t let her down. (And she was nice enough to not give me a hard time when I caught her much closer to my house than hers).
(Anyway, an hour and a half later, I was showered and back in bed. No harm done).
Where am I going with this? To continue my quest of fitness, I need friends and goals. And I’ve got my next goal: the Beltline 10K on December 1. Goal time? I’d love to break 60 minutes.
Here we go…
(All photos are mine).