Saturday, February 19, 2011

Homemade 5K

Autumn said that I'll know I'm "officially" a runner when I'll run in the rain.

I am not there yet.

This past week has been cold, wet, and rainy. I had already ditched out on the Wednesday night track workout in favor of some treadmill time. As Saturday's run approached, the coaches sent us a reminder with the email header proudly announcing the run was happening "Rain or Shine". This did not surprise me. As much as this training program touted the first 8 weeks as perfect for novice runners, everyone else on the track seems to have already found their stride. It's not intimidation that kept me away on Saturday though, it was the sheer freezing temperatures.

I know it's snowing in some parts of the country, but 40 degrees and raining (even hailing for a bit) does not feel like running weather. It seems like perfect cocoa weather. Mmm cocoa and a yummy brunch. With those little baby potatoes fried up with butter and rosemary, and banana pancakes, and bacon, and mimosas.... Yes. That is what 40 degree Saturday mornings make me crave.

Despite the overwhelming urge to consume 2,000+ calories in one sitting via brunch coma, I opted instead to hit the treadmill again. I convinced myself to go down there for a 20 minute jog. That's it, that's all I have to do. I kept repeating this to myself as I laced up my shoes and donned my "gear".

When I got down to the gym it was fairly crowded (this is the gym at my friends condo complex- I've been dog-sitting for her so that means I get to squeeze in some gym time too). I started stretching a bit waiting for a treadmill to open up and finally opted for an elliptical machine. I want to like the elliptical machine. It's gazelle-like no impact strides ought to be a relief for me; instead though I feel kind of bored. I much prefer the treadmill with its easily tracked mileage and straight and narrow path. Maybe it's the sheer will that it takes to keep me from falling off of the treadmill that keeps me alert, because I know many people find the treadmill quite boring.

After 15 minutes of elliptical time I'd had enough and so I hopped off, warm enough to do some real stretching. I positioned myself near the treadmills, but also far enough away so as not to stalk the treadmill in that annoying way that would inevitably only make them stay on longer.

Once on the treadmill I immediately felt done. But at this point, I'd been in the gym for about 25 minutes and I wanted to keep my promise to myself to get in 20 minutes of treadmill time. When I got to 20:00 I decided to go to 30:00. The distance from 0:00 to 10:00 and from 10:00 to 20:00 feels unequal, as if somehow the seconds become stretched and more labored. So 20:00 to 30:00 felt near impossible, but I got there. And then somehow, I decided to keep going. Once I told myself that I could stop anytime I wanted because I'd reached my goal, I suddenly relaxed and had more energy. I told myself that anything over 30:00 was just money in the bank and I should just go til I wanted to stop.

I kept going for another 15:00 minutes! To 45:00 and a 5K!!! That's right!! 3.1 miles. Now I know that 3.1 miles on the treadmill feels markedly different than outside on the pavement, but no matter! I was so proud of myself I wanted to cheer. (And I did a little even though there were other people in the gym with me.

I even used my phone to snap a little blurry pic as I "crossed the finish line". Hooray!

Feels like progress to me!


  1. Way to go! I could never do a whole 5k on the treadmill. I am crossing my fingers that the first run in the rain will happen during your 13.1 training!

  2. Wait a second... wishing for rain for the half marathon!?! =)