Absence does make the heart grow fonder.
Toward the end of last year, my love affair with running hit a rough patch. I felt like I was doing too much when I was running and kickboxing and trying to fit in some Piyo and yoga into my life. I felt overwhelmed, the weather never wanted to cooperate with me, I wasn’t seeing any improvements, and then I hurt my ankle for what felt like the millionth time so I decided to take a bit of a break from running. I continued with kickboxing and would do some Piyo when I wasn’t kickboxing. Doing this I was staying in shape but I constantly had the longing to go run.
Once it was consistently over 55 degrees, I started lacing up my running shoes again. I actually prefer running when it is warmer outside and my asthma doesn’t seem to bother as much working out in heat than it does in the cold.
I had some rough starts. It was almost as if my legs had to remember how to actually run correctly. Now as of this past weekend, I’ve done 3, 5k’s so far this year and Saturday I will do my first 10k. I’m both super nervous and excited about this first 10k.
My first 5k of the year was a walking one I did with a pregnant friend to help her baby come. We walked it in 1:04:15. There was absolutely no running in this 5k although I could tell my legs wanted to at some points, my ankles were not. The rain stopped just long enough for us to do the race and eat some BBQ afterwards.
One of the runs, I had wanted to do since starting running was the Shelby Farms Earth Day 5k. You get a tree for running the race! My finish time (not chip time-which I’m finding to be a big thing for me) was 49:06. This race had a lot of mental issues for me. I had a brace on one of my ankles but the other ankle started messing up in the second mile. My first mile I did in 12 minutes, I have no idea about the second one because my app stopped running and I didn’t figure that out until about a quarter of the way into mile 3.I fiddled with electronics, laughed with a lady beside me, and finally decided to say screw it when even pandora didn’t want to work with me. I was feeling very mentally drained until I saw one of my main influences in running, Yela cheering people at this hill. Seeing her made me realize the race was almost done and I was able to kick it up a notch and finish with a smile and a limp.
This past Saturday I did the Latino Memphis Cinco de Mayo 5k at Overton Park and finished at 46:58, which is 2.5 minutes faster than the Earth Day 5k. All of my miles were between 14-15 minutes with mile 2 being right at 15 minutes due to some shin pain. I felt awesome after the race. So HOT but extremely awesome. I had a beer afterwards and it felt magically. I hate beer but it just seemed appropriate at 10 am after a race. I met up with a good friend (Brigitte) to get some miles in after this race to help get us ready for the Mad Dog 5k on May 16th.
I’ve also started walking 2+ miles at work with co-workers nearly every day. I have found it is really helping with my overall productivity, especially since I still work through my lunches most days. This helps me to get through the midday slump and I also don’t feel the urge to eat all the things come 4 pm. These walks are great not only for the health benefits but also because of the positive talks that come out of it as well. We talk about work but also about how changing into a healthy lifestyle has changed us not only physically but also emotionally and mentally.
This running season has taught me a lot about myself already and it just started. I feel stronger in my claim to calling myself a runner and look forward to anytime I spend outside walking, jogging, running.