30 September 2010

Couch to 5k - Week 1

I just completed the first week of the couch to 5k program and I have a couple of thoughts. 

First, somewhere along the line I got it into my head that because I was on the heavy side I had to run slow.  I'm sure that came from a former coach but I won't name names here.   Back when I started running, 12 years ago, I ran at a pace that felt good for me. I didn't time myself or worry about minutes or miles or anything - I just ran.  I did that for quite a while and it got so I could run further and further at my comfortable pace.  After a while I had to check out the numbers and I found I was running 10-12 minute miles.  Now that is not fast by a long shot but it's a pace that was good for me.  I ran back to back 10ks at that pace and felt fine the next day.  So it was a good pace for me.  Then someone got into my head and convinced me I should be running slower.  I might add this was based solely on what I looked like and not on any abilities or lack thereof.  For whatever reason, I bought into this nonsense hook, line, and sinker.  And I ran slow.  For years.  and years.  and years.  One of the reasons I think I stopped running was that I didn't like the way I was running but it was stuck in my head and I couldn't see how to get it out.  Then, recently, I decided that was bullshit.  I see people, who are not fast at all, running 10-9-8 minute miles and I realize that's where I should be if not for some idiot years back.  With all these thoughts in mind I decided to do the C25K program and I decided to run how I felt like running.  Not slow. Not fast. Just what felt comfortable to me.  And I have been.  And it feels awesome. 

Second, because of all of the above, I am finding the joy in running that I had lost when I felt I had to run slow.  I love the feeling of running.  I love the wind in my hair.  I love the feeling my legs working to push me forward.  I love the breathing deeply that only happens when you run.  I just love all of it. 

Thirdly, because of 1 and 2, I'm going to run the way I want to.  I'm never going to listen to anyone tell me how I have to run again.  I'm going to do it my way.  If I burn out, I burn out.  If I succeed, I succeed... whatever, it will all be on me and no one else.  I'm never letting someone else hold me back again.

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