This week, I ran 5K.
Ok, so what’s there to shout about? Many of my friends have run marathons, are triathletes or are even more nuts doing “ultra” challenges and the like.
The thing is, everything is relative.
For pretty much my entire life, or at least as far back as I can remember I’ve been unfit.
As a child the unfitness was mostly down to childhood asthma meaning, while I was very active, I could not do any sustained activity as I ran out of “puff” very quickly. In adulthood, I’ve had no such excuse. I just got fat, sedentary and lazy.
However, this year, prompted by my Brother and Sister(-in-Law) and supported by the beginners programme from the local Running Club (Go BRJ!) I’ve started (and only just started) to turn that around.
A mere 8 weeks ago, we started our first outing where we ran for 1 minute then walked for 1 1/2 minutes and repeated this 7 times… 8 weeks later, we were running for 30 minutes and incredibly, when we finished, only needed less than a minute to breathe normally again.
Then 3 days later, my running group ran 5K (36mins) – Ok, so the pace isn’t the hardest and many people will think “meh, I could get up and run 5K right now without breaking a sweat” but as I say, everything is relative and achieving a goal like this is a big deal for us!
Next challenges: 10K race in mid-June. Hoping to add the extra 5K over the next 6-8 weeks then it’s working on “pace” to turn it from a fast trundle into a reasonable run (from 7ish mins/Km to 6ish mins/Km).
Insanely, even contemplating a half-marathon in October… me! No seriously… me?!!!
So what have I learned from this?
1. Listen to your friends and family when they try to encourage you to get healthy. I wish I’d done so years ago.
2. Even fat old codgers like me can get from nothing to running 5K in 2 months! Noone has any excuse! Go. Do.
3. Commitment to other people is the strongest motivator you can have to make you keep at it. Find a group and promise to run with them. That commitment will make you get off your ass and go when you might otherwise make some excuses to yourself.
4. Running in a “pack” is powerful. On the days when you’d quit if you were alone, the pack will take you through.
5. Goals are really important. Sometimes they’re scary but achieving them makes you warm and fuzzy. Your whole team achieving them, that’s the best feeling!
6. I can do anything I set my mind to. I’ve always believed this but sometimes it’s great to remind yourself by doing something you don’t think you can do.