It's easy to SAY that I am a runner. I certainly look the part. But that's easy. What's hard is doing the actual running part. I want to BE a runner. I want to have the physical prowess and drive to log 26.2 miles at one time without walking. But that is way beyond my current ability. The truth is, I just started running last year and I have recently been so inconsistent with my training that I get winded doing a short run. But as long as I post on Facebook that I am doing the runs, I at least look legit, right?
Because you can’t put anything on the Internet that isn’t true…
There are a lot of reasons that I started running. I had always wanted to do the Steamboat Classic so I convinced my brother to do Building Steam with me in 2012 to train and we were good! For my first Steamboat Classic I ran in 35:54 which was an 8:59 pace. I had trained with the 9:00 pace group so I was really excited to have stayed on track the entire time and to have run the whole thing from start to finish. From that first race, my brother and I were hooked.
We went on to do 6 more races together in 2012 – three 5Ks, two more 4-milers and one 10K. I had my share of ups and downs throughout the year (see my obsessive compulsive race results spreadsheet for proof). The next race we did was just a couple of weeks later – the Firecracker 5000 5K. I thought that since it was a shorter distance than the Steamboat and I had done fine on that race that I didn’t have to train so hard. Plus, it was so hot that getting out and running was unpleasant. I didn’t do so well that race. I had to walk a little during it and did the race in 28:15 – which doesn’t sound so bad since it is still a 9:06 pace, but I had let myself down by not training for it enough and having to walk. I can make up all kinds of excuses for why this happened but it ultimately comes down to me not being prepared. I wasn’t going to let that happen again but, alas, life happened. I was very active during the summer playing sand volleyball and softball and I even started doing CrossFit in August but come 5K trail race time in August I was still unprepared for the race.
I finally got it together for the Pumpkin Festival 10K in September and I felt incredible. That was by far my favorite race and I felt the best prepared for it. I had been doing CrossFit and consistently running so I went into that day feeling prepared and the weather was perfect that day on top of it all. After that I let my training dip again. I wasn’t going to CrossFit or running so my next two 4-milers were rough. I made it through but it was hard on my body and I had to walk portions of them – for the Turkey Trot I was having to alternate running and walking intervals. Embarrassing. I ended the year on a good note, training once again for the Jingle Bell Run 5K and feeling so great that day that I got a new PR for the 5K distance that day – 27:57. By the end of the year I had picked up doing CrossFit again and felt I knew what I was doing wrong.
I started 2013 with the resolution that I was going to become a better runner and a healthier person. I know, I know – me and the rest of the world. I thought I was off to a great start – I did a 2 mile fun run at midnight to ring in the new year and a 5K at noon (very fitting – the “Resolution Run 5K”) to help ring in my healthy new year. I didn’t do great but considering that the course was snow and ice covered my 5K time of 31:11 did not really disappoint me. I chalked it up to the road conditions. I felt that coming in number 36 out of 120 runners was not too shabby. I was doing CrossFit still so I knew that I was in shape enough. I set the goal for myself to do at least one race each month so I did the Super Bowl Shuffler 5K in February and it was rough. I did improve slightly on my time to 30:40 but considering that the conditions of the road were better and I should have been training, I still have lost 3 minutes on my PR. I am disappointing myself. I also had to quit CrossFit due to my busy schedule. Again.
So that brings me to now. I am in the midst of training for a hilly half-marathon relay (I will be running the 6.8 mile portion of it) that will take place on April 13, 2013. I am not by any means being perfect with the training program that I have started – quite the opposite actually. As a matter of fact, I am polishing off a bag of jelly beans (my Easter vice) as we speak so I am a long way from being the healthy eater that I aspire to be. I read recently in Runner’s World magazine that the most effective runners not only have strong legs but have strong and healthy overall bodies so I that is another goal I need to work towards. What it comes down to is a need to increase my accountability to myself and, eventually (hopefully), my readers. Thank you for bearing with me in my introduction to my journey – I promise my blog posts will not usually be this long. I just wanted to come clean that while I say I am a runner and I aspire to be a runner…right now, I am more of a RUNNING ENTHUSIAST who hopes to one day feel like a runner, inside and out.