In the spirit of keeping it random (at whim), I put on my running shoes on the evening of Thursday May 26th and set out to run 5 miles straight. I had butterflies in my stomach, as the longest I'd ever run at any given time was approximately 3.5 miles at once....and I knew I was going to have to give you all the full report no matter how it turned out. I was nervous.
I decided to take one of my normal routes - a mix of residential streets and some paved and gravel paths in my neighbourhood. Running the loop three times would bring me to exactly 5 miles.
I felt really strong and confident for the first 2 miles or so. Oh ya - I'm comfortable running this amount. No problems!
By the third mile, a bit of panic started to set in. Can I do it? I plugged along keeping my regular pace up, much to my surprise.
Mile 4 was an....interesting one. My brain started telling me "Wow - you've gone a long way. Maybe you should walk a bit", but my feet just kept on moving. I turned off my music and decided to just listen to my feet hitting the pavement. The rhythm kinda put me in a trance - it was the oddest thing. I kept on going, listening to my feet and my breathing and focusing on just keeping moving. Before I knew it I was halfway through my third and final loop - the home stretch! My legs were feeling strong and for the first time I started really believing I could do it.
I emerged from the ravine trail with a quarter mile to go. I could see my house in the distance, my husband waving to me as I headed home. My heart really lept....I was going to do it! My breathing was good, my legs felt great, I was getting teary and...before I knew it, I was blowing past him shouting "one more loop".
Wait. What?! Did I just say that?????
Yeah, I did!!!
Why stop running when you still have fuel in the tank, right?
I have to admit, that last loop was a tough one. I had to pull out all the stops: pump up the music, turn off the music, think about work, swear, moan, talk to myself out loud. Ha! But the thing that really kept me going was just thinking about the fact that one year ago, I couldn't even run one loop. Heck - I couldn't even run for one minute last year! I realized that I felt better in this moment than I ever have.
I finished the last stretch with tears in my eyes, dripping with sweat and shaking with excitement. 6.6 miles. 66 minutes. I think I have a new lucky number. ;)
This whole experience has taught me that I can do whatever I set my mind to. The most difficult part is having the courage to set a goal, make it public and kick yourself daily to work toward it. The support I've received from all of you has been invaluable. I would thank you individually, but I fear I would leave someone out, so just know that if you've ever commented on my blog (or seen me on yours) it's because you gave me fuel for this journey that I can stand here today and say: I DID IT!!!!!!
It never felt so good to be this sweaty and exhausted: