The thing that I enjoy about running is the temporary solitude it offers. I think that it is becoming my excuse to get out of the house away from the kids, the household chores, and the computer to enjoy a bit of "me time". A few months ago when I actually started running again I found it difficult and demoralizing as I couldn't run the 2.3 mile inner loop block from our house. It was too easy to find excuses to stop running and walk it out. I would convince myself that it was all exercise and that I would be able to complete it next time. My runs at that point were few and far between. I would head to the YMCA for a pump or combat class but tire so easily that on occasion I would leave the class before the warm down.
I knew I had to do something. Training for a marathon is not that hard – it just requires dedication and a commitment. Time and willpower. And of course a well thought out plan! I was picking up our summer pool passes when I stumbled across a flyer for some local community training courses. There were two 12 week courses that had just started; the first program was focused on a training schedule from 0 to 5 miles for beginners and the other was focused on getting from 5 to 10 miles. I was excited, also because the beginner course was at a reasonable time mid-morning and babysitting services were offered. I remember turning up on the assigned morning for what would have been Week 2 of the course, paid my fees and waited only to find out that the course had been cancelled.
The coach thankfully called me up the next day. The beginner course had been rescheduled for a Thursday night – I was disappointed as there was no way I could reasonably commit to that with the kids and my husband's work schedule. Bummed I chatted to the coach about what other options were available for me. It was obvious to me that I couldn't do this alone and I was extremely keen to get started with "something". He was sweet and after listening to my experiences and goals he asked if I wanted to come on out and try a 6 mile run with the intermediate group he was training. If it felt OK then I could sign up for the 5 to 10 mile program.
From not really being able to run non-stop 2.3 miles to getting out there and running 6 miles. From not being able to get out of bed before 6.45am to getting up on a Saturday morning at 5.30am. It was hard but I managed it. I surprised myself and completed the 6 miles in 1 hr 20 mins. It was great getting out there with other runners who were supportive. It was also motivating to be running as part of a group – knowing that there were people in front and behind pushes you over that psychological defeatism hurdle. Also the coach was great – he would ride his bike between all the runners giving support and technical pointers. I am so glad I found the group and was able to join them. We only run together on Saturday mornings – but preparing for that run that keeps me focused and motivated the entire week.
This week I ran the 2.3 mile loop from my house averaging an 8 minute mile. I have been able to run the longer distances averaging an 11 minute mile. I can feel the improvement as I get out on the road and start running. It is so enjoyable. I enjoy the time to think about everything and anything. To reflect. To Plan. To run!