I wasn’t born a runner. I found running boring when I was younger. I also tried out for the track team in high school because I wanted to be a sprinter, unknown to me was the fact that training involved running the entire track. BORING! That was 20 years ago. My sister is a runner, she was competing in 5K’s, I also had friends who were running and competing and I wanted to give it a try. I’ve always enjoyed sprinting, I run the bases for softball, always been called upon as a pinch runner because I’m fast. How difficult could this be?
In 2010 when I bought my place, my Mom gave me her 10+ year old treadmill (without incline). I slowly started my own journey to 5K, I didn’t follow any plan you can find on the internet, and I created my own plan. My goal was to run a mile without stopping. It was difficult, thinking I was in great shape in my 30s this was hard. Not being used to running I developed side stitches from poor digestion and not breathing correctly, shin splints because my shoes were the wrong type. I kept a journal of my progress. I learned, I asked questions, I subscribed to Runner’s World Magazine. I started running twice a week then consistently 3 times a week every other day, starting off slow doing 1 mile at a time, working my way to 1.5 miles, to 2, to 3.5. Taking it outside on nice days to attempt 2 miles and to see how far I can go today. Then I made it challenging, let’s see how long I can run at 5.5 mph on the treadmill and then I created my own intervals. It’s what I use now as 15 minute HIIT training during the off season to keep my endurance.
After training for 7 months, then I competed in my first 5K in October, where I ran a 5K in 36 minutes. I wasn’t happy with the overall set up, area and found it to be a bit crowded, which I learned from and didn’t return to the following year. My next 5K entry was similar, and it was mid-July, it was hot, crowded and the participants lacked respecting the event. Then I got smart. Instead of registering for local and corporate events which were poorly organized, crowded, (and small goodie bag) I registered in larger events such as Runner’s World 5K and 10K, Freihofer’s Run for Women in NY which I ran with my sister twice. I’ve also ran a few vineyard events, that combine a 5K with an obstacle course, followed by a souvenir wine glass and a drink afterwards.
It’s been 6 years now and I continue to run, not as often as before but my Dad would be proud as he ran track in high school.