I’ve still got it!

Today was Day 1 of training. The goal: 0.5 miles at 16:07 min/mile pace. In my head that seemed really slow. In reality, that’s pretty slow (for me). I’d be speed walking basically.

But, I’m redeveloping my base, so slow and steady to build up makes sense. Even though, while training for the half marathon last year, I was running 8:00 min/mile on my running intervals.

I bounced out of bed this morning around 4:55, eager to start Day 1. I had my clothes and gear all laid out, and was out the door by 5:05. For now, at least, I’m intending to do a 5 minute walk for a warm up and cool down. Once I transition to higher mileage and more speed, I’ll change this warm up/cool down period to an easy distance jog.

I caught glimpse of the gorgeous full moon getting ready to set (yes, it’s blurry, that’s the best I could get), the moon is the higher of the two orbs, the one in the palm tree.

Just after I took this photo my 5 minute warm up was done and I’m not going to lie: I was nervous – yes 16:07 is slow, but I’d made up my mind to run the entire half mile: something I haven’t done since I did my 5K in 2010. That’s right, I haven’t run more than a quarter mile in 6 years, despite doing a half marathon last year. I’ve been relying heavily on intervals – out of pure unadulterated fear.

Something pushed through me this morning, a kind of motivation I haven’t felt since I started Couch to 5K all those years ago. A voice in my head said “you can do this,” and I listened!

So I began a slow and steady shuffley pace, I checked my Garmin and it was holding steady around a 14:00 min/mile pace, and it felt good (not too fast, but not so slow that I felt silly)- so I stayed there. Before I knew it a quarter mile had come, and it was time to turn around.

I wasn’t winded, or gasping for breath like I had been while training last year. I kept going. I had my 2 run/3 walk intervals buzzing away from my Garmin on my wrist just in case, but I ignored them and kept shuffling.

YOU GUYS!!!! I ran an entire half mile! I’m in better shape than I thought. I was so excited that I would have done a cartwheel in the street if I knew how.

See my face: proud excitement right there
Lessons Learned:

  1. Fear can hold you back if you let it. I’d let fear consume me, and it impacted the way I allowed myself to train.
  2. I ran waaaay too fast last year. If I had trained slower in the beginning, and built up, I may have finished in less than 3.5 hours. No wonder I had a hard time running after 6 miles of pushing myself beyond what I’d trained for.
  3. I need to turn off the intervals on my Garmin – TTFG (Ta-ta for GOOD)!
  4. I am capable of more than I give myself credit for. I truly thought I was so out of shape that running a half-mile with no walk-breaks was impossible.
  5. I am a slow runner (for now at least). I need to accept that, and be okay with taking my time through this process. I will get farther with that mentality.

So with that, my new running motto is: “Every day I’m shufflin'”!

Questions for you:

Have you ever taken a break from running? How did it feel to start back up?

Do you ever don a giant hamster suit and do the running man? (For those who don’t get the reference, please go here).


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