Ok, I am a day late in posting about my final C25K run. Was I like a gazelle gliding through the trails on my last run? No. My day proved to be a Monday. I walked out the door and attempted to turn on my Nike plus but my Nano was frozen. My husband did not seem in the mood to go with me, which kind of hurt my feelings because this was a big day for me. I was running my last run on the program and I was hitting 100 miles on my Nike+. So, with all of that hanging on me, I trudged back inside and tried to reset my Nano but nothing worked. As a last ditch effort, I hooked it up to my computer and restored to factory settings. My computer had to download an update and then had to reload all 500 songs back onto my Ipod. Needless to say, I was not very happy. It was getting later, the sun was getting higher and the day was getting hotter.
But finally I was ready to head out the door. As I approached the front of my neighborhood, my husband rides past me, and he doesn't have the water. So, I am screaming, trying to get his attention to tell him to go back and get the water. As I proceed to walk, the funk just comes over me. I don't want to be out there. I feel cheated. This was to be a perfect run and it was becoming a perfect mess. Even the gravel on the trail felt deeper and seemed harder to walk through.
But that is where all my training from the prior weeks comes into play. I knew from previous weeks that you have good days and bad days. That sometimes you hit a runner's high and other days you just hit the wall. And I learned that it is okay to have those days. It doesn't make you a failure or make you any less of a runner. I have read hundreds of articles over the past few weeks, scoured blogs and know that all runners, even Olympic ones, have their off days. So my off day made me the same as Kara Goucher. (funny thing: I didn't even know who that was about 10 weeks ago). If you don't, google her.
So as I ran and the sun beat down on me, I felt sluggish. I started to try to chant to myself. "You can do it", I said over and over again. And for a while I believed it. Womanizer was playing on my Nano and I was finally hitting some shade, this was gonna be a good day. So I hit my center button on my Nano to get an update on my pace and this is what I heard, "Current time 25 minutes, current pace, 0 minutes per mile...." NOOOOOOOOOO, dagnabbit, what the freak? and every other word of frustration came to mind. What is going on? So I hit it every once and a while and it was all over the map when it came to pace. And my distance? It was off also. This was suppose to be my celebratory run and it was turning into a disaster. As a Christian, all I could think was , "Satan, get thee behind me!". He was going to try to steal my joy. He knows me getting healthier and fitter was going to give me more energy to serve and he wants none of that. But that ain't gonna happen.
So I finished my run yesterday really hot and tired. But you know what? I finished it. I finished it and I can't wait to run again. That is the difference between never running before and spending the last few weeks learning how to run and learning about my body, I know I was just having an off day. So what?
As the day wore on, I got out of my funk and found my blessings. I check in daily with two threads at Weight Watchers, C25K Daily Challenge and Heavyweights. I have met some of the most amazing women on these boards. Dare I say, some of us have become friends. We share our woes, our praises, our lives and family stories. I smile right now just thinking about all of them. There are those like Rebekah that have been where we are and shares a wealth of knowledge. There are those like Christina and Kris that just make me laugh. Then there are others like Lisa, Andie, and Amanda that I watched finish C25K before me and offered words of encouragement. Even all the news one, Christine and Beth that give me a chance to pay it forward and share anything that I may have learned on my journey. There are even the Nathans and Lisa's that I have not heard from in a while but still think about. All of them, and so many more, make up a big community of people that have found this love for running or are just discovering it, like me. Yes, I am truly blessed to know these people and to call them friends.
What a journey! When I started, I thought I just needed a pair of shoes and some clothes and just put one step in front of the other. Which is true to some degree. But I found that I could combine my love for technology with my new found love of running. I bought a HRM that is almost as important to me as the invention of the wheel. And not to be outdone, my Nike+ has been my little cheerleader and my data tracker. I can tell you what my pace was during any week of C25K, I can tell you what day I run the most, even what my average distance is during C25K. Yes, my Nike+ feeds my data junkie needs. I found new uses for my Iphone in MapMyRun, C25K application and progio. Yes, running has been good for my techno side.
Running is a whole other world. But who knew you could benefit from different clothes?!? I didn't even know what tech shirts were. I didn't know how different they felt from cotton when you are dripping in sweat. I didn't realize the difference a good pair of running shoes made when it came to comfort and preventing injury. And who knew that us gals that are well endowed could actually find a running bra that meets all of our unique needs. Did you know that there are even different types of socks? Yes, I know, who knew? Or running gear that has been created to massage certain parts of your legs, depending on how it is constructed. Crazy, right? Or get this....GU. I know, I know, what the heck is that? Apparently, it is nutrition on the go when you are out on a long run. Or that documentaries on Running the Sahara or books named Born to Run would be interesting? And I have just started learning about all this. So much still to learn.
But the best part of all this. I discovered myself. I learned to listen to my body as I run. I pick up the pace a bit and listen to my bodies reaction. My heart is beating a bit faster, my breath is becoming a little more shallow, new muscles in my legs are waking up and then I slow down a bit. I feel my breathing coming easier, my form is more relaxed and my overall feeling is just good. I travel a bit further and tease it alittle. I push it a little more and listen to my body. I change my form, while running, and listen to my body to see if it is making me more efficient or if it is struggling. I love the mental part of the run. Even when the Beast shows up and I have to figure out how to tame it.
I also discovered confidence. Each week presented itself with a new set of goals and each week I was amazed that I could meet them. Sometimes I had to repeat a week or I just flat out cried because I was embarrassed or it seemed too hard but it was worth it. My first run outside was scary. I didn't want anyone to see this fluffy gal trying to run.... and fail. I did whatever I could to avoid people. As they passed me, I tugged on every piece of clothing, I guess mentally trying to hide behind them. But I learned that all the ill thoughts that I thought they were having, were in fact, my own. What I learned is that, if they are runners, they admire and love any runners. I learned that they are ready to help out and offer advice if you ask them. And the only people that really smirk....are the people in the cars who can't run and don't understand...so who cares? They are not runners so they probably laugh at the slim and trim runner for running in the heat, the cold, time of day...you name it. They hide behind their sneers because deep down, they long to run and have probably tried and failed. I have been blessed with two friends in my Bible Study that are avid runners. They met in a running group, they have qualified and ran in the Boston Marathon (Again something new that I learned...you have to qualify for the Boston Marathon....and it is hard), and all they have done is love on me. They encourage me, they congratulate me no matter what my pace for finishing a 5K. They are good people.
It seems so surreal that I have completed Couch to 5K. It is almost scary. I mean, what do I do next to stay motivated? I loved the small goals each week in the program. They boosted my confidence and pushed me to do better. I am on to a search for a new program. The One Hour Runner, 10K training from Nike...who knows.