I initially became interested in running seeing people on social media beating their running times and competing in runs. This past year, I started to care more about health and fitness and recalled that a friend of mine had suggested I download the Couch to 5K (or C25K) app to structure my cardio workouts. I downloaded the app without any real intention of finishing it. I was honestly intimidated by the 8 week program but I surprised myself by completing it in less than 6 weeks! This is possible because each “week” of the app is 3 days long so every week I completed 4 or 5 of the training days. At this same time, I was also doing some strength training and following a high fat, low carb/ketogenic diet. The app was incredibly helpful in preparing me for the 5K and building my endurance. I finished the training a few weeks before the 5K so I started working on getting my mile time lower in the meantime. But, I did much better following the structured plan of the app and actually wish it had lasted longer. If you are a more experienced runner, they also have a 10K app that I plan on starting towards the end of 2017.
Growing up, I constantly told myself (and others) that I “can’t run” and I’m “not a runner”. Looking back now, I see that it wasn’t that I couldn’t run, I simply didn’t want to. I also realize that at that time I believed running to be a physical process more than a mental process. Boy, was I wrong! Now I see that running is 75% mental and 25% physical. This may be different if you have some kind of disability that prohibits you from running but, for the most part, running is mental. Running teaches you that you are so much more capable than you believe you are and that your body is amazing. I never thought I could run 3.1 miles straight or even 2 miles for that matter. This was mostly because I had never previously had a desire to or challenged myself physically to run any distance. In 2016, I finally started to believe in myself and my ambitions to eat healthier, run and lift increased tenfold.
So, I ran the Gasparilla 5K on February 25th, 2017 with over 30,000 other runners and I can confidently say that I am glad I did it and I plan on doing more in the future. I am still very slow and inexperienced in running, but I finally am able to enjoy running and look forward to training more in the future. I really underestimated how hard it would be to run a 5K, so I did not achieve my goals I initially set, but I have now reevaluated and plan to achieve my goals this year through more training and more 5K’s under my belt. I really enjoy running because it has taught me so much about myself and my capabilities and also given me time to think. Running is incredibly therapeutic in many ways.
One thing I must say though, is that if you plan on running a 5K and are new to running like me, please BUY NEW SHOES! After the 5K my feet were absolutely killing me because I wore old Nikes I have probably had for two years. I did not think one 5K was worthy of buying new workout shoes and told myself I would buy new ones if I liked it and planned to do more. I should have bought them prior to this run to better my experience and pick up some time. During the run I was not tired or sore, so the only thing slowing me down that day was my feet hurting after about the first mile and a half. My only regret going into this experience was not investing in proper footwear.
Also, a big thank you to Bill and Jackie for running the 5K with me! I probably would not have followed through if they were not there, and I am glad I could share this experience with them both.
Thanks for reading,
P.S. Both of these photos were taken at the Gasparilla 5K. It started as a very dreary day, but towards the end of the race the sun sure did start to beat down on us.