Well I did it! Last Sunday I completed my longest run to date….10 kilometres!!!
It’s been just under a year now since I put my running shoes back on for the first time in many many years. That very first attempt of running was nothing shorter than painful. Every inch of my body, every muscle, every ligament and tendon felt that run, but that didn’t stop me from going back the next day and the next to slowly build on something that I to this day can be very proud of! For the first few months my aim was to run non stop for 20 minutes. Once I became more confident and felt myself becoming fitter and fitter, I started measuring the distance I ran. My pet run is 4km which I can now run in 20 minutes (pb 19.50) and occasionally I like to run 5km which I can run in 25 mins (pb 24.36)! For a long time a 5km run scared the hell out of me let alone anything higher!
Then slowly but surely I started to want to challenge myself to running longer distances. I slowly increased over time from 6, to 7km and up until last weekend my longest run was 7 and a half kilometres which I did in 40mins. My goal was to run my first 10km run by Christmas and I wanted to run it in under an hour! Well I’m happy to say that it’s only September and not only have I completed my first 10km run but I ran it in 53.40mins!!!
I sit here, three days later, still in disbelief that not only did I complete it, I didn’t once stop, feel like stopping and felt so good the whole time I was running! If someone had of asked me 12 months ago lets go for a 10km run I would have laughed in their face….how things change! I had it in my head that day that I wanted to increase my run to 8km. I was running a decent pace (2km in 10mins) feeling pretty good, but when I got to 6km it felt like I had run 12! I was feeling fine but it felt like I’d been running for 2 hours! When I finally reached my target for the day of 8km I knew I still had running in me so I kept going! I was 43mins at 8km so my last 2kms I really brought it home considering….the adrenaline obviously had kicked in!
As much as running is a physical challenge, it is one of those physical activities that is very mentally challenging! Something that seems easy at first or when you speak about it in conversation is actually really hard! It’s the same thing over and over again – left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot! If you think about the pain the run is harder, if you tell yourself I want to stop you most likely will! All this is controlled by how we think during running! I remember those days at first thinking, wishing my run was over, but now I’m the opposite! With the help of happy thoughts, my tunes and thinking about my loved ones or what I have to do for the day, my run is over in the blink of an eye and I enjoy every moment of it – of course I’m only human so there are still times where a run can seem harder than normal, but not on Sunday – my mind would not let me give up, I was so determined to do it! I felt so empowered after it as 10kms is a long distance!
So often I’m asked how do you do it? Or people will say I wish I had your motivation! You have to find something that motivates you and you have to want to do it! For me it’s my heart. In order for my aorta not to dilate any further, I need to prevent high blood pressure. By keeping fit and eating healthy this keeps my weight down and blood pressure down. While this happens my heart doesn’t get any worse and at the end of the day I need, I must be healthy for my children to have a mother….that’s a massive motivator!!!
So where to now?? I’ll just keep running 4-5 times a week. I’ll keep up my pet 4-5km runs and do a longer run each fortnight like I’ve been doing for a while! I get bored really easy so I keep changing my routes which really helps! My aim is to run a 10km run each month to see if I can improve my time! But my real challenge to myself now is to keep improving on all my PBS and get myself ready for 2013, as next year will be the first time I will enter into competitions! I never started running to compete against other people, it’s always been about competing against myself for myself, but I figure by entering in competitions, my money will be going to charity and it will be another great excuse to do what I love the most and that is running!
Thought for the day:
Believe in yourself by saying “I can do this!” Because the minute you say I can’t, you won’t!