It occurs to me that I haven’t written about anything I set out to write about for a long time (perfectionism, exercise, art, etc.), so here’s a nod in that direction. After two years of arduous, intermittent, and seemingly unproductive neighborhood running, I ran my first “official” 5K this weekend! Erica had discovered Vern’s No Frills 5K in Georgetown a few months ago, but every time we promised ourselves that we’d go do it, we talked ourselves out of it. It only costs $1, but it’s always at 8am on a Saturday and kind of far away, so it’s pretty easy to find excuses not to go.
Yesterday, though, neither one of us wanted to be the weaker link, so we drove out into the chilly October morning and successfully beat at least three 5-year-olds. Look how happy we were.
We ran the whole time, and contrary to my neighborhood experiences, I actually felt like I could keep running at the end, even after not running at all for the past two months. A day later, I’m kind of sore, but not in an unexpected or unusual way.
This experience leaves me with a couple of epiphanies:
- My neighborhood has been both holding me back and making me stronger. I’ve always struggled to run 3 miles throughout my neighborhood. I can do it, but it’s hard and I usually want to cry at the end. However, I felt pretty great after running the 5K yesterday. Although Jonathan insists that having all the extra people around is an important motivator, I’m pretty sure that the relative flatness of yesterday’s course was another important factor. My neighborhood is full of various hills, but I’d never considered that they might be significantly hindering my running experience around here. On the other hand, I’m sure that they’ve helped my endurance despite the associated misery. Sooo, running the flatter trail yesterday makes me think that I’m a little better of a runner than I thought I was, and that makes me happy.
- I’m suddenly motivated to start running some more. Now that I know I can run a 5K without collapsing, I feel a bit more inspired to try to run longer distances. Just somewhere without hills :)