Words cannot express how ecstatic I was to cross this off my 30 Before 30 list! (Also, super fitting that my bib number was my birthday!)
I won’t lie — the 5K was a little rough at points. The last mile is really where I had to focus on putting one foot in front of the other. Especially since there was a big ass hill right before the finish line.
But the bottom line is that I did it. I stuck to the training program and continually surprised myself with my improved endurance. It helped that I had a good final training run on Thursday night and surprised myself on Wednesday. I didn’t run while I was in Denver and was feeling a bit guilty about it so I decided to duck out of zumba early to do a quick mile on the treadmill. Just like that. I hopped on and jogged a mile like it was normal. No way in hell could I have done that eight weeks ago, or even four weeks ago.
One thing I’ve thought a lot about these past few weeks is that notion that anyone can become a runner or tackle a 5K. It’s true, and yet it’s not. I never thought I’d be a runner and literally started nine weeks ago, so in some ways it’s “proof” that anyone could do it (this is a girl who’s avoided running most of her life, after all). But it takes a lot of dedication. You’ve got to be willing to put in the hard work and commitment. It’s probably more accurate to say that anyone with the right mindset and dedication can do it. That’s what makes the payoff even more rewarding.
That’s also why I’m thankful I got to do a Girls on the Run 5K. These girls have been training for just as long as me, and it was so adorable to see so many of them completing their first 5Ks, too. Some had parents cheering them on or even running with them, which was even inspirational for me.
Maybe that’s why the mental struggle I thought I was going to have (getting my butt kicked by dozens and dozens of people) didn’t come up at all. Although it probably helped that I had a great pep talk from my adopted grandma and the librarian last night. It really was about taking it one step at a time…and having my secret weapon (Lindsay) right by me through the whole run. I can see why she’s a substitute coach for Girls on the Run!
I should give a small thanks to the gorgeous labs that trained with me. Even though I didn’t do too many runs with dogs (and technically the middle kept hold of Mocha Jo since she’s got some crazy energy…), they’re too cute not to include.
I haven’t decided whether I’m hanging up my running shoes or not. There’s such a feeling of accomplishment that I get from running — even moreso than what I get from spinning, which is saying something. But it does take a toll on my poor knees and hips. I guess time will tell on that.
For the time being, I’m just going to enjoy the fruits of my labor. (Lame, but it’s all I’ve got right now…)