Happy day after Thanksgiving! If you’re braving the stores this Black Friday, you’re braver than I am.
Yesterday I ran my first 5k race. I finished with a chip time of 37 minutes and 48 seconds (chip time is the time my foot hit the start and finish lines. There is a sensor on the line that reads a chip on your shoe to get the time. Neat, huh?) The process of going from a self-proclaimed couch-potato to 5k runner, and the race itself, has taught me a lot about myself (and a few things about other people). Here are just a few things I’ve learned in the last few months. If you are considering taking up running as a New Year’s Resolution, or just to improve your health, I hope this helps you.
1:I Am Stronger Than I Thought.
I have very little self-discipline. I am aware of this. Generally, if something is not fun or necessary, I’m not going to do it. Examples: going to the dentist = not fun. Vacuuming the carpet every week = not necessary (don’t worry, I do vacuum. Just not as often as I could).
But once I made it a goal to run 3 days a week no matter what (except the flu. The flu kept me down for a week) and forced myself to see it as necessary, I found I could run a lot longer and a lot farther than I thought.
2: The Running Community is Very Inclusive
Most activities similar to running seem to come with an exclusive mentality. You have to do it a certain way, a certain frequency, with a certain brand of clothing before you’re allowed “in”. Running is not like that. While there are elites among runners, most of the people who consider themselves “runners” are very nice, and eager to help a newcomer out.
A perfect example: The Red Faced Runners. This online group was created (by food bloggers, no less) specifically to help and encourage new runners. They are awesome, and I hope they read this. Their support has meant a lot. And again, if you’re entertaining the idea of becoming a runner, check them out.
3: I Have a Healthy Contempt for People Who Walk a Race
This is really just a gripe. I started the race farther back (I am slow) and was dodging walkers the whole race. Literally. They were everywhere in front of me. If you are planning on walking, please start all the way in the back. Thank you. On the flip side, there are some hardcore stroller runners out there. I admire them, and thank them for not running me down.
4: It’s Okay to Push Myself
Seriously. When my body says “no way am I doing that” it’s cool to ignore it. It’s also cool to listen to it. I have bad runs and good runs, and I find that the good runs usually come when I tell my body to stop protesting so much, we’ll have a beer on the couch after we kill this run. Usually the beer-on-couch tactic works.
5: Crossing the Finish Line is Addictive
I’m already planning on training for a 10k. I am also trying to convince The Renaissance Man that running with your wife is awesome. Just look at that sweaty, red face! Who wouldn’t want that as a running partner?
There are way more things I have discovered since starting to run, but we’ll save those for my first 10k.
Anybody planning on working some fitness into their holidays?