Monday, April 23, 2012

Chasing Pavements

This semester has been a record breaking one for me so far in the area of fitness! I set out with some goals and am very happy to achieved some thus far. I have wanted to run a 5k forever, the entire thing and then hopefully after that move on to some longer races.

I was never a runner, I hated it in high school though still was able to run a mile fast enough to receive an A. It was the reason I quit soccer in the first grade, and probably one of the reasons I didn't make the field hockey team in high school. That and the fact that I have absolutely no athletic abilities whatsoever, I still am not quite sure what prompted me to take that adventure.

The summer after my freshman year of college was the first time I really got "running" if you will. I blew up like a balloon my first year of college and decided I needed to do something about it. I started running every day, first I just ran to the end of my street, and then everyday I ran to the next house down the street until I had reached my goal. I lost weight, felt great, but when the awful July heat kicked in I had to stop.

I didn't particularly work out or run much in college but did have an on again/off again stint with running during the second semester of my senior year.

This past summer at TCU is when I really got into running. I downloaded the Nike GPS app to start tracking how far and fast I was running. I really enjoyed that the app would alert me at each half mile and there's a fun athlete celebrity celebrating you at the end of each run. I reached a record of 2.65 for distance and I believe close to 10:00 for my mile time.

Then the fall of my second year in grad school happened. Goodbye workouts, running, endurance and progress.

I knew I had to get back to it this spring and started out slow. The first day I just ran as far and long as I could and before long I hit 3.1 miles one month before the 5k I was planning to run, so from there I worked on timing. Right now I've ran my fastest 5k at 33min. and my distance record is close to 4.5 miles. Not only has running helped me feel more physically sound this spring, it has been such a good way to clear my head. As I was preparing for Comps and had a big event at work, I knew everyday I had one hour just for me where there would be no emails, texts, calls. Just me, music, pavement and the river.

Although I had reached 3.1 I was still nervous to run the 5k on St. Patrick's Day. I typically run in the evening and on the very flat Riverwalk. Running in a crowd early in the morning was daunting, as was running the entire first mile uphill. I was a little disappointed when my first mile was 12:30, but I caught back up once the race headed downhill and ended up finishing with a time of 34:17, under my goal of 35 minutes! I ran the entire race, didn't stop for a second, and sprinted through the finish line.

With my spuddy Jessie before the race

 MC came to cheer me on!

HESA runners after the race!

I was and still am so proud of myself for working so hard to achieve this goal. I really wanted to run a few more 5k's this spring but due to my schedule I haven't been able to. What I'm thinking of now is maybe a 10k sometime in the fall, and I'm looking at the Disney Princess Half Marathon for next February. It's a stretch, but if I could reach my first goal so quickly I know that this is something I can do if I work hard.

To treat myself I wanted to do something special, and decided to buy myself a charm for my Pandora bracelet. I've really wanted my bracelet to have meaning and so far each charm has been very meaningful, this would be a great addition. I didn't necessarily like the four-leaf clover charms out for St. Patrick's day but found this four petal charm in green and knew it would be a perfect way to remember my first race, and also inspiration when I see it each day to keep training for the future.

Hopefully I'll be able to do another 5k sometime soon and once I know where I'll be living in the fall I am signing up for a 10k...because I'm not a quitter so after that I'll have to start training!

1 comment:

Charlotte said...

Hey Anna! I'm a new follower..I have no idea how I actually found your blog, but I love it! I kind of borrowed your travels tab to use on my own blog (hope you don't mind)! Anyway, congrats on your first race! Well done!