Running Reflections

Of all of the things I’ve done this year, I think that running deserves its own end of the year post.

My very first post on here—back in 2015—was about running and how I started in college. I was worse then than I am now; I ran in college because it was something to do and because I felt like a NARP living with athletes. I didn’t take it as seriously as I do now.

For the life of me, I can’t pinpoint exactly what made me think this April that signing up for a 5k race over the summer was a good idea. I hadn’t run since I graduated in 2016, and that’s because it wasn’t something that was important to me. But I came into this year unsure about really everything in my life, and I wanted something to work towards, have a goal, to say I accomplished something.

And I figured a 5k wasn’t a bad idea. I mean, everyone always seems so happy after, plus you always get a medal. And three miles isn’t that much, right?

I researched 5k races in my area—in Connecticut or western Massachusetts—and found Craft Brew Races. I was originally going to sign up for a race in New Haven, CT, but when I went to register it was already canceled. So I settled for the Newport, RI race in July. I asked one of my co-workers at the time—now a good friend of mine—if she’d run with me. She was going through some rocky stuff in her life at the time, and I wanted to be the fun friend that was like, “Hey let’s do something we’re both bad at for fun!” Thankfully she agreed, and we can both successfully say we ran our first 5k race together.

I spent all of April, May, June, and part of July training for the race. Since I hadn’t run more than a mile, I wanted to make sure I could run at least for a short period of time. I ran 3 miles twice before the race, and my final time for that race was 35:29, a lot shorter than I thought it was going to take me.

Then in August, I had a really bad week, and I signed up for another 5k race in September. This one was in the town over from me and was much more low key than the one in Rhode Island. My final time for that one was 35:49.

I was briefly sidelined in September because of an old ankle injury. That was rough because I had gotten into a routine and didn’t want to not run for a few weeks. It was bad enough that I had to wear one of those ace wraps to work.

I think I’ve caught the running bug, something I didn’t think I would. You really don’t know what you’re capable of until you try. Running three miles seemed impossible to me once, and now it’s something I do regularly. Granted, I do walk a little in between miles, and I think now it’s just a habit and I’d like to see if it’s something I can stop. (I was doing it to help with my asthma, and if I can just keep continually running, I’d prefer that because I could shave a few minutes off my final time, but if I need to do so to survive, then I’ll keep doing it.)

Running sucks, though. Like it started out as a survival thing, you know, running from predators and stuff. Now people just do it for fun! I’m proud of myself for putting in the effort this year and sticking with it, as much as some times I didn’t want to do it. Definitely having the track at work to run is helping, and I’m making myself run on the treadmill now that it’s colder.

I signed up for a 10k race in March because I’m crazy. That’s why I’m still training, although I feel like now I just run all the time. (Well, I’m shooting for three times a week.) Like my other races, I don’t really have a set training plan, I just kind of do what feels okay and won’t kill me.

I’m hoping to work on being better at motivating myself because that’s one thing that’s holding me back. I’ve fully accepted that running sucks, especially running in place on a treadmill, but each mile still counts. All that matters is that I put on my shoes and run. I always feel better after, and it feels good that I can check off another run for that week. It helps with my anxiety, and although I don’t really have to lose weight, it helps keep me healthy and in shape. Plus builds endurance for my asthma.

So this is my story about how I did something this year that I didn’t think I’d ever do. I’m always hard on myself, but I know working on running and improving is something to be proud of. I’m looking forward to what I’m able to do next year. I already have the 10k race in March, and I’m doing the 5ks I did this year again next year. My boss runs a lot of races, and I’ll probably sign up for a few more that he told me about.

Thank you to everyone who’s been along my running journey with me and for all of the advice and words of wisdom!

Is there something you did this year that you’re proud of? Or something that happened to you that made you better?

17 comments

  1. Way to go with the running!! The thing I’m proud of this year is running too. I only got about 3 months in minus my tendon injury before the really cold weather hit but I’m really glad I started! I’m going to start up again in a few months when it starts to get warmer out and then by next winter, I hope to have the gear to run in the winter!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks! I’m happy that you got started running this year, too. I have a few things to wear for colder weather but I need to look into how to layer properly. Granted, I’m not going out running in like 20 degree weather but I’m not sure what the weather is going to be like for my race in March. I’d love to read updates about your running next year!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lol I was running in like high 20’s F? Maybe? Lol but it was in reallllyyyy thin tights. Next year I’ll make sure to get some lined ones for winter. And I had my eye on a running jacket with layers and things that zip on and off to help with seasonal transitions but it’s a little out of budget right now. It’ll be a good purchase once I get around to it lol

        Liked by 1 person

      • Haha I’m a wimp when it comes to running outside in the cold. I got a zip-up for Christmas that isn’t too bulky. The jacket you’re looking into sounds good, especially if it has layers and stuff you can take off. It’ll make it more usable for you.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh yes! I’m a wimp too lol I took my dog for a walk this morning to let my dad have extra time to get ready for church (and then the dog came home and barked at my dad being all “ok, let’s go…I’m waiting” haha!) and I got half way down one block and I was already muttering in my head how cold it was lol But I’m hoping by next winter, running will be so much part of my regular routine that I’ll put up with the cold.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m just getting used to running again after I tore the ligaments in my knee this past June. People tell me to take it easy, to prevent another injury, but I think running helps strengthen my knees. Running does suck sometimes though. I am hoping to run my first 5k in 2019. It has been a goal of mine for a few years now, but I think this will be the first year in a while that my health is in the right place. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I definitely don’t have a medical degree but I would probably side with the people telling you to take it easy haha. Tearing anything sounds painful. Maybe you can slowly ease back into it? If you can, you should run that 5k! They’re fun and the medal afterward is always worth it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for the concern. I didn’t exercise or do anything for six weeks after the tear. I didn’t start trying to run until mid November, I think about 12 weeks after the injury. And then it was at a snails pace. I felt so slow. LOL. There is no residual pain, but it’s not nearly as flexible as the other side. I already notice a difference when it comes to knee stability though, because my knee caps try to rotate sometimes for no particular reason (the reason I injured my knee in the first place). My doctor is pleased with the progress I’ve made. I agree, it’s best to head your doctors advice. I more meant people who don’t run at all (and have no medical experience) who hear that I am running again always try to give advice. LOL. The “If you see me running, you should probably run too” types. Haha

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You’ll love doing your 10km in March and I look forward to reading more about it. After I signed up for my first I was incredibly anxious and I felt like I wasn’t enough of a “real” runner to actually put a training plan in place. Once it happened I got such a thrill out of completing it that I started to believe in myself. Running has changed my life – I hope you stay with it and enjoy the process 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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