My Quest For The 5K
If you have been following along with The Next Goal, you might remember my post about wanting to run in a 5k. I’ve never been a big fan of running, but it seemed like a cool goal to set for myself. After all, we are big on people reaching their goals – so why not set a goal for ME?
I followed a plan called “Couch To 5K” which sounded easy enough. I mean, the couch part sounds pretty easy. Basically, the course takes you from low activity to a 5K in about 9 weeks. NINE WEEKS!? Amazingly, it worked… sort of.
In any undertaking like this, you need a clear plan and the motivation to start. I had both of these covered. What I didn’t have was a clear understanding of what my 42 year old body is capable of doing. I pushed myself to try and tough out the minor injuries and soon found myself hurt. I sat out a week, then started up again – this time much more carefully. The key was actually starting up again.
I finally made it to the end of my 9 week training and registered for the Frosty 5k, in nearby Frisco, Texas. To add to the excitement, it was 32 degrees that morning – so it definitely qualified as “frosty” – at least by Texas standards.
The good news is, I did it! I completed the race in 32 minutes- which is only about 19 minutes slower than the World Record! The goal was not to win the race, the goal was to finish the race – so that’s one more thing I can check off my bucket list. Even though I finished in the middle of the pack, it truly felt like I was the only person crossing the finish line.
As I look back over the whole process, I realize that I made a great choice going with the structure of the Couch to 5K plan. (If you want to read about it, you can learn more here) It broke up my big goal into several smaller goals, which made things a lot easier to handle. There are even iPhone apps for those who really like to record and track every detail.
The one thing I would do differently would be to do a little more research before I started. Right after I got injured, a friend recommended a fantastic book called Running For Mortals. I can’t tell you what an eye-opener it was for me. It pretty much outlined why I got hurt after four weeks. If only I had read it ahead of time. By the way, I’ve included a link to the book if you want to check it out. I just can’t recommend it highly enough!
Go For It!
So if you have ever dreamed of running a 5k, why not make that one of your 2012 goals? Do some research, find a good training plan and go for it.