This weekend I officially completed C25K! :) The last couple of weeks I haven't been able to run much, due to something that felt scarily like tendinitis in my right foot. This means that I've only been able to run once a week. Not the best way to prepare for my first ever race, but it is what it is. I would much rather play it safe, take it slow and run slower in the race, than risk injuring myself!
The last two weeks aside, I have run three times a week and followed the C25K plan to the dot. Before I started out, I wasn't entirely convinced that I would be able to make it. But I've been able to do each and ever run, and often times I did a session of shred afterwards, too.
It feels GOOD to have accomplished a new goal. It is strange to think that, only a couple of months back, I was only able to run a minute, and now I can do half an hour! I could probably run further if I wanted to - while I'm tired when I'm done, I'm not totally beat. In fact, usually I speed up the last minute, from my snail pace of 6 km/h to a whopping 7-7.5 km/h.
Last night, I was in a hurry to get home, and had to run parts of the way. I marveled at how easy it was, and how much further I could run without getting winded. This probably sounds obvious, of course you'll be able to run faster and further when you've been improving your running for a couple of months. However, there was something magical in seeing my hard work from the tread mill seep into my 'real life'. I can actually feel the effects outside of the basement (where the tread mill resides), too, and that makes it all the better. :)
I have never been able to run this long before - ever! Not even as a teenager, I've always hated running up until now. I wish someone had told me about the C25K back then, I wonder if it would have made a difference? If perhaps I would have made the effort, and if it would have changed me into a more athletic person. And if it could have kept me from gaining all the excess weight in the first place. I'm not sure, though. I just don't think I was ready back then. But I was ready now, and that's what counts at this point.
Speaking of goals, and running: I've decided to change my goals for the 3K race. I'm tossing out the goal to not finish last, replacing it with being able to keep a pace of at least 6 km/h on average. I've thought about it long and hard, and I know that a good goal needs to be something I can control, not something that depends on others. Even if I did my best run ever, I can't control how fast the other participants run. And I can't control who signs up. Maybe all the slower runners decide to stay home? Should I fail my goal just because of that? No!
Also, I want to be at peace with finishing last. There is no shame in being the slowest, someone has to be. I thought that a good first step to not be scared of 'losing' would be to not include it in my goals. I'm probably going to keep it in the back of my head, I REALLY don't want to finish last. (I have a very unrealistic, but yet very terrifying image of everyone else finishing way ahead of me, waiting at the finish line and laughing at me, thinking how stupid I was to sign up for the race when I obviously can't run).
But I don't want to give into those fears, so I'll try my best to focus on more positive goals. Besides, there is more positive energy in trying to reach a goal, rather than trying to avoid an experience I don't want to have. To quote one of my favorite book series (the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning) - Hope strengthens, fear kills.