No. I did not do something crazy like sign up for a half marathon. Don’t let the title fool you. I’m not that intense.
However, considering I have six 5Ks, one 3.5 miler (yup, that extra 0.4 miles matters), and one triathlon under my belt, it’s about time that I do something rash — like increase the distance to my runs. Time to set a new PDR!
After some inspiration from Tracey, who seems to run 10 milers and half marathons every other week with very little training besides her regular challenge runs, I decided to bite the bullet and signed up for my first 5 miler, the Feaster Five. Tackling this distance was originally on my goal list for the year, but that was well before I decided to do a triathlon. At first, the five miles would be my tough challenge for the year, but apparently I’m really into two big annual challenges now.
After pressing the Submit button, I had the same butterflies in my stomach and thoughts in my head that I had over a year ago when I signed up for my first 5K. Can I do it? Will my lungs cooperate? How the heck will I run two extra miles on top of the three I can barely run now? That task seems so daunting, but then I think: I couldn’t even run a quarter of a mile when I first started training for my first 5K, so that must surely mean I can run five. Right?
I’m not one of those people who finds running easy. There will never, ever be “three easy miles” for me. I will be sweating, wheezing, and beat-red during every single step of those “three easy miles.” If I ever decide to run a half marathon, my easy runs will still be hard runs. It’s not that I don’t have faith in myself; I know that I can do it. I just know that running will always be a challenge and something I have to work hard at.
I won’t be able to just go out there and run five miles on Thanksgiving on a whim. This week, I start my training with the Bridge to 10K program and that’ll help me get to the point where I need to be come Thanksgiving. I will have to train if I want to be able to run the entire course without being rolled away on a stretcher, oxygen tank in tow. Will I run a sub-10:30 average pace? Probably not. And that’s okay.
As my friend Tamara reminded me this week, comparison is the thief of joy. I am doing this for me and no one else. Forget about PRs. Forget about sub-XX:XX pace. Forget about everyone else but myself. Sometimes running will suck, and that’s alright.
The Feaster Five may be one of the last, if not the last, race of the year. My plan is to end the year with a bang.
I will work hard. I will be patient. I will believe in myself. And the rest will follow.