Well, Saturday I ran 5K for the first time! No walking, no stopping. With hills, even!
I started fairly fast (for me) and made myself slow down just a bit and I was glad I did because I had the energy to run up a endless long mountain goat grade fairly steep incline (for me) at the end.
I ran with a lot less stuff — no iPod, no jacket, no fanny pack, etc. Shorts, shirt, cell phone stuck in my bra (insta-pockets!), keys hooked on my waistband. That was it. It was freakishly warm for December and I felt light and free. (I think it will seem like a breeze to run with 100 pounds less one day!)
I really enjoyed being by myself and being outside. It’s not something I experience often these days!
I am starting to see a pattern in my running now, regardless of distance:
- I start enthusiastically, for the first ten steps or so.
- For the rest of the first quarter, I’m a hypochondriac whiner. (What’s that pull in my knee? What’s that pain in my shin? Why does my foot hurt? Why am I going so slow! Why is this so hard!? How am I going to do [whatever distance]???? ACK!!!)
- Suddenly, I realize I feel good and it’s easier. For the second and third quarters, I shut up and stop thinking so much and enjoy the run. Sometimes I listen to music. Today, I didn’t, after having read Running the Spiritual Path: A Runner’s Guide to Breathing, Meditating, and Exploring the Prayerful Dimension of the Sport last night. (Review to come later next week.) Instead, I experimented with different contemplative prayers from my religious tradition and found one that really worked well for my running rhythm (In English phonetics, “Doxa si, Kyrie, doxa si”.)
- For the last quarter, I just want it to be over. I am not tired or out of breath. Am I bored? I have to be aware so I don’t just start walking out of habit. I have to stop myself from negotiating myself into stopping early. (I don’t really need to go around this block again to make the 3.2 miles, 3 miles is close enough, I can always try again next time, blah blah blah.) Now that I’m aware what I’m doing, I can tell myself to quit it and get back to business.
- On finish, I feel great and think, gosh, I just feel warmed up, I could go forever!
I did laugh today when I took off my sneakers and socks because what I thought was a pebble in my shoe turned out to be one of my daughters’ stick-on princess jewels. How did I not feel that until the last 1/2 mile of the run? I felt every facet at the end, trust me.
Maybe it didn’t seem too bad because I just watched this the other day (DON’T WATCH IF YOU HAVE A WEAK STOMACH! Be sure to have the volume up to catch the commentary. Hilarious!):
That’s what I’m talkin’ about!
So, now, I need to commit to a half-marathon and full-marathon and maybe a sprint triathlon by year end. I’m so excited — there are a TON of races. I’m going to peruse and choose later. Of course, most are in Spring and Fall/Winter, given this is a generally warm area and summer would be an AWFUL time to run. I think a shorter race (5-10k) is doable by March, but a half or full marathon will definitely be on my list post-summer.
(There’s even a 100-miler less than 15 miles from my house — who knew!? I had no idea! Maybe I’ll be running that in a couple years! Maybe I’ll volunteer this year!)