I asked my best friend Bethany, who had written for you before on her Morning Glory Muffin Recipe, to share her experience with you about training for her first race. I hope this can inspire all of you to try something new today.
The day after New Year’s this year, I had my second foot surgery. It was a surgery I had previously had years ago on my other foot. My podiatrist strongly recommended I kick Zumba and high heels out of my life. (I have all my heels over 3 inches carefully boxed in my closet as I am still having a hard time parting with them. Admittedly, I occasionally slip them on and stand in front of the mirror in them.) He made it very clear how terrible Zumba and the aerobic dance shoes I wore were for the balls of my feet. What was going to be as enjoyable as Zumba? Brianna quickly suggested we run a race together.
Growing up, I never had an interest in competitive athletics. Because I refused to participate, my parents had me get a part time job in high school, but walking out of work with a stack of cash as a waitress simply proved far more appealing than a track coach following me around on a golf cart as I ran.
With Brianna’s encouragement, I registered for a 10K with her. I developed a training plan of 3 days running, 2 day strength training, one day cycling, and one day off. I never thought running would get me as excited for the gym as Zumba once did. I soon found myself skipping out on friends (busted!) for a run I had previously planned. I was motivated, sticking to my plan, and getting really excited about running.
Still, some days were much harder than others. I had no problem logging the miles on the treadmill, but running outside proved far more difficult and, for me, far less enjoyable. This was probably largely in part because I didn’t have a treadmill screen playing Sex in the City in front of me while I ran. I was also training in the heat of summer with record high heat indexes so running outside involved rolling out of bed at 5 am before work. Yes, I tried listening to music, but I was in marching band in high school and couldn’t handle not running to the beat of the music. I stuck my training schedule to my fridge and crossed each day off determined to see my goal through!
Two weeks before the race, Brianna emailed me the race route. I was so frustrated. Although a beautiful trail, it was full of hills. With a vacation planned out of town, I wouldn’t be able to train on it before the race either.
When our race day finally came around that Saturday morning, I was a bundle of nerves with one goal in mind – finish in 60 minutes. I am thrilled to report I finished in 58 minutes and 45 seconds! The adrenalin rush on race day was a blast! Next, I plan on training for a half marathon starting in January and maybe running a couple races in the meantime as I work to improve my time. Not every run is an easy one, but I always end feeling absolutely great.