The other day it occurred to me that my next 5K is a lot closer than I realized. Uh, oops.
Before the Phillies 5K, I prepared weeks in advance with a training plan I found online (I think it was Runner’s World, but I did find one from the Mayo Clinic too). I wrote down my distances and times along with the dates. I tracked my accomplishments like I was raising a toddler.
This time I’m much more laid back about it, and that may not be a good thing because when I realized the race is in just over two weeks, I kinda panicked. I started making all kinds of nervous plans: I have to run three miles twice a week so I don’t wear out on race day. I have to run every night. I have to go to the gym every night. I need to build up. I need a white shirt to get covered in paint. (It’s the Color Run, where the only requirement is a white shirt. It starts out that way, but it doesn’t end that way. I’ve seen pictures of other Color Runs, and most people come out looking like Easter eggs.)
Eventually I got my head back on and relaxed. Now I pick a day out of the weekend and run at a park so that my body doesn’t ask, “What the hell are you doing?” when I hit the road for 3.1 miles for the first time since March. (Running on the treadmill is great but it’s not the same. On the treadmill, you’re not pushing yourself over the surface you’re running on; the “ground” moves under you, no force of motion required.)
It’s really nice because I’m going to places I’ve wanted to see but never quite got around to visiting. This week’s adventure was Lower Perkiomen Valley Park, which is totally gorgeous and so populated by bicyclists that I was inspired to dig out my old Trek bike to get it ready for a makeover. Poor baby hasn’t seen concrete in just about 10 years.
After using the machines or weights, I run a mile at the gym, but I let myself take one day off each week for recovery, which is just as important as building up. Running a mile isn’t a typical cool-down but I enjoy it; it gives me something to look forward to, after grunting my way through the list of exercises the gym trainer, Katie, gave me. (I totally love her. If she told me I’d build muscle by cliff-diving, I’d be in line right now.)
More than anything, I’ ve come to the conclusion that working out is fun. Maybe not when the muscles are whining and the knee is throbbing, but when I turn sideways in the bathroom mirror and realize, my belly is missing, yeah, it’s a heck of a lot of fun.
I’m excited about the Color Run. When I did the Phillies 5K, I knew I wouldn’t be the biggest woman at the race, but I definitely wasn’t the thinnest either and it made me a little self-conscious. This time around, I’m leaning more toward, well, lean. I feel better about myself, inside and out, because I’ve put in the work to make the changes I want to see. It’s not easy but it’s worth it. Imagine what I’ll look like by the Runner’s World 5K in Bethlehem in October!
Great; just in time to hide myself under all those winter clothes… 🙂