I think one of the coolest things about following a training program and preparing to race a distance you haven’t ever been close to running before, is watching your body conquer longer and longer runs. My training program is 8 weeks long, although I gave myself 9 just in case. Each weekend I have one “long run,” that started out at 3 miles and gradually works its way up to 6 by the end of the 8 weeks.
I started this program right after the B.A.A. 5k, a race I had to participate in after a week-long stomach flu. I was upset with my performance at the 5k, having to walk a lot, and finishing in a time that, although faster than last year, wasn’t even a personal record. After the 5k I knew I was going to have to put in a lot of hard work before the June 10k. If I had to walk during a 5k, I can’t imagine I’m going to be able to pull off a race that is twice the distance! So I started this program. Last weekend I ran 4.2 miles, on a course that was uphill for the first two miles, without walking and without believing I couldn’t do it. Now, I am running 3 miles every Tuesday, and it seems crazy that I couldn’t, for the life of me, complete a race of that distance a month ago.
This weekend I am scheduled to run 5 miles; a distance I’ve only ever dreamed about. I’m excited because I know I can do it, and I’m also excited because when I’m running a 5 mile radius from my house, I get to see so many cool things. Last weekend on the 4.2 miler, we ran through a beautiful park that juts out into the Charles River, over a cool rollercoaster bridge into Charlestown, through the Navy Yard and past the U.S.S. Constitution, and even up the Freedom Trail for a bit to reach the top of Bunker Hill. Getting to run through areas that my normal daily life doesn’t bring me is really cool. That run also reminded me of the importance of varying your route. It’s pretty easy to get bored when you do the same loop all the time, so go a different way and explore a new area!
I’m already charted courses for this weekend’s run, so tune in next week to see how I did. Pray for me; 5 miles is long.