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Training for 5K continues

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POSTED: April 20, 2008 5:00 a.m.

I’m sore. I’m so very sore.

But I’m still motivated! I think I just need to make sure and give myself a day or two off for recouping after each training day.

I covered the "See Spot Run" 5K Race and Walk last Saturday morning. It was actually the first 5K event I’d ever been to, come to think of it. I once helped with a race in college, handing out water, but only got to see that limited part of the race.

Last week, I got to see how the whole thing worked. And I’ve got to say, I really wish I had signed up to do it.

It was phenomenally motivating to watch everyone take off, and then one by one, group by group, dog by dog, come across the finish line. Seeing that feeling of accomplishment in so many faces was truly inspirational.

It made me wish I had on my running shoes.

So I went to the gym later that day and totally kicked it on the treadmill. By the end of the week, I’m now up to 2 miles – getting so very close to my final goal! And it feels good to do it.

I always go into the gym and think to myself, ‘Can I do this? Can I push myself a little farther today?’ And I always get on the treadmill with a slight feeling of doubt and uncertainty.

Thankfully, I can usually ignore those feelings within the first few minutes. You know, when the running is really easy, because you’re just starting and it feels like you can go forever… Until suddenly, out of nowhere, your legs get tired and your lungs are bursting and you feel like you can’t go another step.

But I’ve continued to push.

I’m hoping I’ll be able to keep pushing myself these next few weeks. I’ve got just over two weeks until the Energy Oasis 5K and I’m about 75 percent convinced I’ll be able to run the whole thing.

After my great workout last Saturday, I decided to go to the gym and take a "fun" day for myself. No running, I decided. I’d just do an easy little workout and go home with barely a sweat broken.

Well, I was so excited about going to the gym and not running, that I warmed up by running. It felt better to do it ‘voluntarily.’ Just a half a mile, then I stretched and hopped on the elliptical for 30 minutes.

I decided I’d do a varying degree of resistance, so every few minutes my comfortable pace slowed. It got to the point at the end that I was literally fighting to continue moving at any pace at all, so I lowered my level. My idea of "barely there sweat" was pouring down my face at that point, but it still felt good.

After that, I stretched a little more and decided to do some leg work. I did lunges and leg presses and headed home. By dinner time, I was feeling the after effects of the burn. So I iced my knees and hamstring muscles, then stretched a little more.

On Monday and Tuesday, it hurt to walk. I mean, even a little jaunt across the office was literally painful. So I took Monday off. Tuesday morning I had plans to get up and run through the pain, but I was lazy and slept late instead. And I was still sore. Wednesday left no room for negotiation, so I had to go.

It feels good (in a horrible way) to run through the pain. I forgot what it felt like. It brought me back to when I played field hockey in college. Specifically, back to pre-season, when every single day was spent in agonizing pain.

My first day of pre-season – I remember clearly – it was 8 a.m. and the heat of Maryland in August was already thick enough to make breathing outside uncomfortable.

Despite warnings from my coach that I needed to train over the summer, I didn’t. So when I showed up and we were told to go run two miles as a ‘warm up,’ I balked.

But I went out and did it. I remember how hot and horrible it was, but I also remember that I ran (well, jogged) the whole thing. I passed girls who were walking, but I ran every inch of it – without training for a minute of my summer vacation.

During those two weeks of pre-season, I experienced pain I’d never felt in my life. But thinking about it again now, it’s a good reminder of how much you can put your body through. You can be tired and sore, you can even be a little bit injured, and your body will take it and keep going. It can take a lot. It’s almost amazing what the human body can withstand.

So, on April 19, even if I’m not 100 percent ready, I think I can still do it – at least, that’s what I’m banking on – I officially registered this week, so there’s no turning back now…

 

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