A Year In

On Sunday, I had the easiest 10k run I have ever done since starting this whole running shenanigan business.I don’t need to tell you I wanted to walk around with my arms in Rocky pose all afternoon going “YEAH! I RAN, B%$*$ES!” but I didn’t, because my core is still *$%#ing sore from the CxWorx class I took Friday with the substitute instructor who tried to kill us.

Not even kidding. My obliques were so overworked I could not reach for things. On shelves even I can reach. It was painful. And humorous. But mostly painful. Don’t even ask how I got my rainbow sock on for the run. Not pretty, folks. Not pretty.

So, my run was 10:1’s with a friend, and we kept a slow, conversational pace around 7:45 to 8:00 per km. We chatted, we turned our faces to the sun and drank in the joy of having sunshine and warmer weather because Spring is late getting here, damnit all Punxsutawny Phil (if that is your real name, you devious rodent…). It was a perfect morning, no stress, no time limit, no pace to keep.

We went the full 10k, two other ladies with Run Club went 12k, and three others went around 17-19k or so (I think, two of the long distance ladies, in pink, did a victory lap around the parking lot once we were back, to complete their distance, at the rocket speed of VROOM…). We are rockin’ this Run Club thing! I cannot wait to see who this summer brings out to our group, and what we can achieve together. SO excited!

I have to tell you, at the end of this 10k, I got back (to the Starbucks we meet at) thinking “I could go more!”. I had lots of energy left, nothing hurt, and I felt friggin’ amazing. I strive to end runs like that. It makes it a lot easier to love running when you have runs like that. I’ve only run the 10k distance a few times, and by that I mean run it (there was an 11k in there in January, but I walked a lot of that splashfest with calf issues). I did the Resolution Run in January, and a 10k trail using stop breaks with a friend in the Fall before, as well as a 10k last weekend with the same friend, where we tackled Heart Attack Hill.

But this 10ker was the first time I ran where the running felt effortless, and I was running “happy”, not pining for the 10 minute beep to walk for that precious, rejuvenating minute, or swearing at myself through the suckage at the end. It was so encouraging, and made me understand that I have made strides (pun intended) towards progress in my running. Last year, I was thinking 5k was a crazy hard distance, my personal “marathon”, if you will. Now, 5k is my short run. Whoa…

So that in mind, I have been doing some thinking about my running. Now that the warmer weather is upon us (soon, please???) I want to figure out what this summer’s long-term running goal is.

Do I want to aim for a distance, like completing a 15k run, or trying to just run a 21.1k, even without a race to aim for? Or do I want to aim for a 30 minute 5k time, or 6:30 min per k consistent pace on runs? What about conquering some crazy hilly trail? Do I want to aim for a particular race in the Fall to do really, really well at and PR, or do I just want to leave it all out there to the running Gods and make it up as I go?

I have no idea. The only stipulation is this: I need to keep the joy in my running. I need to always feel blessed to run, look forward to my runs, and take joy in the moment (ie, love running while running, at least once per run. The rest of the time I can hate it. Har.) I also want to be encouraged by my distances and my achievements. I know not all runs are going to be great, and some are going to suck. I know I may end up injured and not be able to run for periods. I know sometimes I am gonna wanna cry (hey, its my party…).

But I want to build this new lifestyle to stay encouraged in this next chapter of running. I am a year into this crazy, emotional, physical, nutty journey, with its adrenalin-induced endorphin ups and downs, failures, achievements, and excitement.

Let’s do this.

 

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3 thoughts on “A Year In

  1. I LOVE this Caroline. I love that you had that kind of run, and I think that sort of feeling is WHY I KEEP running-it’s an elusive joy, it doesn’t always happen but when it does??? WOAH. I think only you can determine, for yourself, what your goals should look like. I know for me, I just wanted to keep extending my distance, I didn’t care pace or time so much. Once I complete a half (who knew THAT day would come?) I think I’ll be setting some more “enjoyable” run goals. I will be doing the half, at Army, exactly a year after I did my FIRST 5k-at the same event. I imagine it will be a pretty emotional moment. Glad I could share this all with you. 🙂

    • I am glad to share with you as well! Running, when I was a teenager, gave me a sense of strength when I felt weakest. Now, it gives me joy, social outlets, and fitness. Let’s look back on this when we are in our 70’s and celebrate, yeah?

  2. I love how a 10km has become an ‘easy’ distance…I know not easy but that you can go out run it, and feel good. You have come so far. My all time fav run club moment is still the day I say you booting it in head down, concentrating, for a 5km PR! It game me goosebumps 🙂

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