Okay, it was certainly NOT my first 5K, but it sure felt like it! I had surgery on my foot almost 2 years ago (August will make it 2 years). Sure, surgery fixed my foot problem that was preventing me from running, but I had a long road of recovery after surgery. Post surgery, I was on crutches for nearly 3 weeks. I then transitioned into a walking boot and wore that for a month. Due to my job, I stayed in it longer. I began running, very slowly, but with the stress of standing all day at work, as well, I had difficulty adjusting to both. Once I finally got through all of that, I had to restrengthen my foot and leg to be equal to my other. I had to run in such a way as to not cause injury, since I favored my stronger leg for awhile. Well, none of that stuff worked out as perfectly as I thought.
Two years later, and I think I have finally got my legs back. Now, the tough part is getting in shape. I’ve done it several times. And each time I try to get back in shape it is, surprisingly, a tad easier. Thankfully the years of running build upon themselves, and while it is super easy to get out of shape, it is easier to get in shape if you have a running history. So, needless to say, I am at the “getting in shape” phase. I planned to run this 5K and had high hopes for it. I had run several 3 mile time trials on a track, and had decent results. Unfortunately, running on a track is way easier than on the hilly roads. After only 1 mile, I knew I was in for a tough task. I was dead. I debated about walking. I debated about stopping. I debated about saying my breathing was out of whack, and I had to stop. I thought all sorts of stuff, but as I thought all of these things, I didn’t see any good place to stop, so I kept going. I knew if I walked, it would take me even longer to get to the finish, so I cancelled out that idea as well. I can’t even say, before I knew it, I was at mile 2, because it felt like a century until I got to mile 2! Eventually, I did get there, and I ran 45 seconds slower than my first mile. However, with my super slow 2nd mile, I was able to rejuvenate myself and run my 3rd mile 30 seconds faster than mile 2. Maybe I just went out too fast!
Whatever the issue was today, that race was HARD! It gave me good insight into what I need to do to get faster. I have some new ideas on workouts. I have newfound motivation, and I am just as excited to run the next race as I was today (before I realized how badly I would suffer)!
Lesson learned from today: never give up. Don’t let your mind talk you into things. Mental battles are way harder than physical battles. I have gained confidence from finishing today, even though it was not in the desired time I wanted to run. I DID run faster than I thought I was going to, when I was out there dogging mile 2. I am pleased with my effort, and know I have a LOT more to offer.
What has been your toughest race?