Finally ran a Mile!

I finally ran my first full mile!

A few days ago, I had signed up for a local 5k, one that I had also run last year. Given my recent success on my half marathon, I had intended to really push as hard as I could to run as much as possible. I had plenty of time to walk around and get warmed up before the race, so I started off running and ran until I hit one mile. I was exhausted but elated!

As a kid, I never ran. In gym class, I would participate and growing up I was a decent goalie in both hockey and soccer, and it prevented me from having to do much running. I have always been an active person, but running was never my thing. I had been born with a bone tumor on left knee, and some activities were uncomfortable or painful.

I finally had that tumor removed when I was eighteen, but that honestly left my knee in even worse shape.

I have always loved biking and walking. For years, I owned a recumbent stationary biked and used it every day. After that, I switched to an elliptical, and now I own a treadmill. I mostly walk, though I like to incorporate small amounts of running to elevate my heart rate, as even brisk walking won't get my heart rate into the cardio zone. So, I run or use hills to raise my HR.

In 2014, I started doing timed races, and it was fun for me to see how fast I could manage to finish when just walking. Sometimes, I could actually pass some of the slower runners, so I didn't feel very disadvantaged. We were all out there together, being active and enjoying the fresh air. I was never going to win anything, but that wasn't the point. And as I have written before, most people in the running community are very encouraging to us slow pokes!

Last year, especially on our longer races, I started running quarter miles. This improved my finish times a bit and also helped me get my HR up, and more importantly, it challenged me. I tend to get very bored when I am unchallenged.

When I created my Day Zero list, I added “run a full mile” to it, not because I aspire to become a runner, but because it would be hard for me, but it would remove a mental block in my mind that I couldn't do it.

So, I ran the first mile, with no pain, but with a lot of doubt. I think that doubt weighs me down more than anything. My sister, ever my coach, pushed me, reminding me at every tenth of a mile that it would be a waste of my energy to give up. I made it, and I felt absolutely triumphant! And despite the fatigue I faced, after walking for a bit, I was able to run again, on and off, until the race was over.

I also give credit to the stranger in the last quarter mile, who saw me slowing down at the end, and coached and encouraged me not to give up. I probably didn't really need his encouragement, there's no way I was just going to stop, but it motivated me further knowing this is a group of people helping each other reach their goals. It's nice that there are people out there so positive and helping others improve!


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