In 2008 I signed up for the CIBC run for the cure. I was doing this for my mother who had survived breast cancer. I didn’t sign up to run as that was just crazy talk. I signed up to walk, and not the 5k either, I signed up to walk the 2.5. That was about as far as I was going to bring the crazy. When I was there, I ran into an old friend. She told me she had signed up to run the 5k. RUN? 5k? Are you crazy? Wow! You must be in great physical condition! Good for you! I was so proud of her for taking on such an undeniable feat! After walking my 2.5, I was so caught up in the excitement and elation of all those around me that actually ran the 5k that I thought the next year I was going to run it. Thus began my love for running.
In 2009 I decided to quit smoking and take up running. I was introduced to a great app called Couch 2 5k. If you have never heard of this app, I highly recommend it. It’s hard to believe that it literally got me from the couch to running a 5k. I tell everyone, if I can do it, anyone can do it and I truly believe that.
The first few weeks were brutal. I mean, seriously, if I can’t run for 30 seconds, how am I ever going to run for 30 minutes? You do though. When you go for 30 minutes you can’t remember how it felt dying at the 30 second mark. It’s remarkable how much our bodies can accomplish. My 1st 5k race was the Run for the Cure, I completed it in 33 minutes.
Leading up to my hysterectomy in 2012, I had run quite a few 5k races a couple 10k’s and was hitting 5k a day lunch time runs. I had developed quite a love affair with running. Until my hysterectomy that is. 6 weeks of recovery time was enough to throw me into a running funk. The moment I was given the go ahead I started out on my first lunch time 5k. At the 2k mark I was in so much back pain I couldn’t go on. My legs completely locked up and I was barely able to walk the rest of the way back to the office. I didn’t give up. I continued on failing at every lunch time run for the next month. Then I gave up. My love affair with running ended. Quickly.
By the time the Fall rolled around, I was determined to reignite my love affair. I started out slow with the C25k program. This time around I was much heavier, menopause does that to you btw. I had packed on a good 20 additional pounds (about the same size I was in 2009). I had recruited a few other people to come along with me on my journey back into running. By the Winter I was back to my lunch time runs. It felt great! So great in fact that I wanted others to share in this love affair with me, to feel the joy of crossing a finish line, to know that you CAN and WILL run and LOVE it! I started training others like me and then decided to become a race director. (shameless H2H 5k plug… you’re welcome)
2014 – present brought too many mental challenges to mention and more weight gain (again.. thanks menopause, thanks stress) no amount of running was going to help. I started doubting myself. I started hating myself. I started hating my circumstances. That back pain I had experienced in 2012 returned with a vengeance. My love affair had officially ended. Gone! For good! My runs were now out of necessity not out of love. It sucked.
Despite the fact that I no longer had the joy of running that I previously held, when Sole Sisters announced in October of 2015 that they were going to add a ½ marathon to their race series, I signed up. Immediately. What made me make such a hasty decision? I honestly thought that if I paid an exuberant amount of money to run a bucket list race then my love affair would re-ignite. I thought if I had something really worthwhile to train for then I’d remember why I was so in love in the first place. *spoiler alert – it didn’t.
The worst part about signing up for a race a year in advance, in my opinion, is that it’s a year in advance. I started out in October with the mind set of “I have a full year to train!” “I’m going to rock this run!” I began with the C25K ½ marathon trainer. BOOOORING! The plan is basically a walk/run plan and at no point do you actually run a full ½ marathon. I stuck with that plan (sporadically) for about 6 months until I just couldn’t handle the walking portion anymore. I’m not a walker. Like at all. I don’t have the patience for it. If I can travel further faster then I’m choosing faster. Training for a walk/run plan was killing me. I found that I couldn’t even run 4 minutes without feeling exhausted and wanting to stop. Then after the 1 minute walk was over I’d find it incredibly difficult to get up the energy to run another 4 minutes. This was crazy to me. I was used to running 45 mins to an hour non-stop without an issue and I couldn’t even push out 4 stinking minutes? That plan was abandoned once April/May hit and I started a new ½ marathon plan that was your traditional short run, tempo run and long runs. All I can say about this plan is UGH! The reason why I say the worst part of planning a race a year in advance is that when it’s a year in advance there is no real drive to ‘get out there’ “there’s still lots of time to train” until there isn’t.
Race day is Sunday. The longest run I have completed is 10 miles. Granted I have done it twice and granted the course was difficult with numerous giant hills along the route, but it was only 10 miles and it was only twice. I never did do any tempo runs. I figured my goal is not to finish fast but to finish. I tried to train at least 3 times a week, but I’m not sure if I even did that. I did cross train. A lot. Swimming, cross fit, yoga… almost daily. My last race was a 10k in August, I barely crossed the finish line and it took me 1 hour and 15 minutes to do it. Grosse. I’m freaking out. I don’t think I trained hard enough. I don’t think I like running anymore. I don’t think the Cheetos, cookies, cake and candy that I’ve been omnomnomin the past year is going to help me, I’m still way overweight. Why did I sign up to do this?
I’ve decided I’m going to go back to the C2K5 ½ marathon training plan. It involves walking the first 5 minutes, then run 4 and walk 1 24 times. I just don’t think there is any way I’m going to be able to run 13.1 miles.
All I can say is stay tuned… I’ll let you know how it went. That is if I actually get the nerve to show up at the starting line.