This morning I woke up craving my running shoes. 5:30 am cravings for a run are rare for me. In fact, I don’t think I have ever experienced one. As soon as I woke, I knew I had to go for a run. Without thinking, I grabbed my running clothes (that conveniently hang on a hook in the bathroom), running shoes, and camelbak and headed out – leaving a very depressed dog at the front door.
A few weeks ago, I found a group of Mom runners in our area through the National Organization Mom’s Run this Town. To my surprise, there is a local chapter in Virginia Beach. I found their Facebook page, requested to join, and just like that I have an amazing group of cheerleaders (whom I’ve yet to meet) supporting me and my running journey. The local group was incredibly welcoming and not at all clicky. I immediately felt at home on there Facebook page! I plan on joining them on a group run any day now!
During the summer months, the national organization is hosting a virtual 5k race series. Every month they encourage runners to get outside and run a 5k. Time doesn’t matter. It’s all about beating the heat and staying active. As I headed out on my run today, I decided to run my July 5k for the series. 3.1 miles to start my day. Not too bad.
Rewind back to late February/early March of this year. I was training for the Shamrock Marathon. I completed my first ever 18 mile run. I found out I had a stress fracture in the shaft of my femur. 12 weeks of no running for me. By the time my 12 weeks of no running was over, I was already well into the first trimester of my pregnancy. Making a come back from my injury just became a lot more complicated. Since then I have run/walked every single one of my training runs. The ratio of run/walking varies daily, but I typically walk about 1/10th of every mile. The most I’ve run on any of my training runs without taking a walk break is 1.5 miles.
Fast forward back to this morning. As I headed out for my 5k, I got a crazy idea in my head. What if I could run the entire thing without walking? I just ran 8 miles on Sunday. This is 5 fewer miles. Maybe, just maybe, I can do it!
One mile into my run, out of habit, my mind started to tell me to walk. This is when I start to talk to myself. Yes! Sometimes out loud for everyone to hear! You have got this Larson (Yes! I refer to myself by my maiden name when I run. Don’t ask. I have no idea!). You don’t need to walk. You want to walk. You aren’t even breathing heavy. The first mile of every run sucks. Get to mile two. Drink some water and quit looking at your watch. This pep talk lasted until mile 1.5. I repeated my monologue and continued on until mile 2. At mile 2 I felt great. I knew I had it. 1.1 more miles to go. At mile 2.5 I needed the pep talk again. At mile 3, I couldn’t stop smiling. At mile 3.1, I ran into my house, up my stairs, woke up my sleeping husband, threw my hands up in the air and announced I DID IT! I RAN A 5K WITHOUT WALKING!
I did it! I ran a 5k without walking! For me, at this moment in my life, this feels huge.
My biggest worry going into 2012 was how I was going to recover from an injury on top of pregnancy on top of child-birth to run my first full marathon. Today I feel like I put that worry to bed. I’m not going to be recovering from an injury in 2012 because I’ve already recovered. I’m not going to recover from pregnancy, because I’m embracing my pregnancy, my body, and my physical limits. The only thing I need to worry about in 2012 is getting an okay from the doctor to start running again and tackling my training plan day by day until I cross the finish line of my marathon.
Today, I ran a 5k without walking. It feels pretty darn good!