Christian Travelers Guide + running

Buckskin Breakout 5k

This weekend was my "graduation" from the Couch to 5k, even though I've already moved on to 10k training. I ran my first 5k in a year... and it was less about the time than it was about getting my life back and feeling like myself again. Okay, that's a lie... I did set 3 goals for myself:

1. Don't be last.
2. Finish in under 40.
3. Run the entire thing.

The school district I work for sponsored the 5k and Josh agreed to go along with me. It was awesome to have such a huge amount of support there. It was FREEZING Saturday morning and I haven't ran in the cold for weeks since I've been spoiled by warm-ish weather and have been hitting the treadmill whenever it's been too windy for my taste. I wasn't quite prepared for a 9 a.m. run at 30 degrees.

As I took off, I realized that I quickly took the spot of the last person in the pack of runners. My pants kept falling down and my abdominals started cramping big time. The entire time I was running, I kept thinking about this "hill" that everyone kept talking about. I had decided not to preview the course, since I've noticed that my runs feel easier when I run somewhere unfamiliar because I'm more focused on my surroundings, rather than thinking about how much farther I have to go. Shortly after the first mile, I started being passed by the runners at the head of the pack, something that is always super disheartening for me. I had to keep repeating to myself that these people have been running for years and are built to be fast -- that will just never be me and I have to be okay with it.

I kept trucking, saw a few of the people I was running with, and my abdominals started cramping even worse. I saw Josh coming downhill towards me and after a few cheers from him, I told myself to suck it up and push on. I bonded with a few Amish dogs and turned around at the midpoint to see the "hill." It wasn't a straight up, "I want to die" hill by any means, but it went on forEVER. I told myself that I just wanted to run the entire thing, no matter how much I had to slow down. I actually passed two people on the uphill which would have been satisfying enough for me even if I hadn't met any of my three goals.

As I crested the hill, I could see the middle school and new that from here on it was downhill and flat, so I forced myself to run as hard as I could. As I rounded the finish line, I realized that I had, in fact, met all three of my goals. I finished in 38:31, wasn't the last person in the chute, and ran the entire 3.1 miles -- the farthest I've run since last April.

It was such a gratifying experience for me. After the 5k, we were actually helping out at a Zumbathon and I originally didn't have any intention of participating. Before the Zumbathon even kicked off, I had abandoned my table and secured a good spot on the floor. Two hours later, I hobbled out to the car sweaty, aching, but feeling more like myself than I have in an incredibly long time.

I'm so excited for everything that's on the horizon. :)

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Buckskin Breakout 5k + running