When I finished the Couch To 5k, C25k, program, I was running thirty minutes at a stretch, but not covering 5 kilometers. I’ve been working on running 5 kilometers on Saturdays and increasing my time 2 to 3 minutes a week on my other two runs. Eventually, my times and distances would converge…and this week I hit convergence.
Last week I worked up to 40 minutes on my timed runs and on Saturday I had my all-time personal best 5 kilometer run time of 41 minutes. Yes, I know that 41 minutes is a terrible time for a 5k, even for a 48 year old woman, but I’m quite pleased with myself for keeping at it even when I could easily be discouraged. Just a few months ago I could barely keep up with a routine with 90-second running intervals!
I’ve had a few discouraging moments along the way, but I refuse to let any of them stop me from trying. I’ve run in the rain, in the dark, when I’m tired, at over 9000 feet elevation, when my joints are aching, when I’m late for work, and other difficult situations. Most of the time people who are out running or walking when I am encourage me; but sometimes they don’t…
One time, there was a young couple running across my path and the woman was super fit, wearing the tiniest boy-shorts and running bra. She looked me up and down with disgust clear on her face. I was flabbergasted. Youth…all I could think was that I hoped she kept up with her running through work and children…I sure wish I had.
Then there was the time when I heard a couple of women holding a conversation as if they were on a leisurely stroll…until they ran past me. They were about 10 years younger than me and were soon enough blocks ahead of me before they turned off and were out of view. Well, I thought, if I’d started sooner perhaps I’d be able to keep up with them…but I’m doing my best now.
Just a couple of weeks ago, I once again heard two women holding a leisurely conversation behind me and assumed I’d see a couple of younger women come past me. Instead, the women were in their late 50’s or early 60’s…as much as 15 years older than me! They casually ran past me engrossed in their conversation. That time, I thought, well hopefully that will be me one day…
So, this week I will converge my running plan and simply run 5 kilometers on each run, striving to improve my time further. I am signed up for my second 5k race on Sunday and my goal is to run it in under 40 minutes. My stretch goal is to hit 39 minutes…or about 13 minutes per mile. I’m still planning to keep running on my own plan until I can run 5 kilometers in close to 30 minutes, then I’ll be ready for Bridge to 10k.
Find the Joy in the Journey…strive for your personal best!