Before last night, I had never run more than 16 minutes without stopping.
A big fan of the walking break, I often run intervals of 10-15 minutes of running, with 1-2 minutes of walking recovery during my training runs.
To date, I’ve crossed the finish line of eleven races, 7 of which were 5Ks. I’ve never once ran a 5K without stopping and I’ve always secretly envied my friends when they reached the fitness milestone of running an entire 3.1 miles without stopping.
Last night, everything changed.
Before I left the office, I set an email out to my Challenge buddies, instructing them not to let me skip any of my training runs in the next 10 days before my 10K [sponsored by It All Changes.] The sky was grey and cloudy, the temperature 45 degrees, and as I entered my apartment to change into my running gear, rain drops started to sprinkle onto my head.
I shut up the small voice inside of me that was trying to tell me that I didn’t need to run in the rain. “It’s 3 Miles,” the motivational part of me responded. “I can finish it in 35 minutes and be done with it.”
Instead of marking out my 3 mile route or heading to do a triple of my 1 mile loop, I decided just to run for 35ish minutes. I set my stop watch on go, pressed play on a podcast, and took off in the direction of a part of the neighborhood I haven’t run in since last fall.
I ran at a decent pace; not causing me to lose my breath, but I also wouldn’t be able to hold a conversation if I tried. When I glanced down at my watch and saw it had passed 12 minutes, I realized I wasn’t really tired yet, the way I normally am this deep into my run.
"I’m going to push to 20 minutes NO STOPPING." When I hit 20 minutes, I thought, "I should see if I can make it to 24 minutes, because that’s probably about 2 miles."
The next time I glanced at my watch I had passed 27 minutes. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?? I was BEAMING as I thought, "I am SO CLOSE to 30 minutes – I can totally reach it." So I kept running.
At the time, I was a long stretch of road, and told myself "Maybe I’ll just keep going to the end of this road, and then walk home." So I did. Only, when I reached the end of the road and made the turn to go home I CONTINUED RUNNING. To top it all off, I made an extra loop around my block to be able to round it out at 40 minutes!!
Forty Minutes. ahem. Excuse me.
“Extra! Extra! Read all about it! I ran FORTY FLIPPING MINUTES without stopping.”
Imagine my surprise when I mapped my run and realized that I ran 3.5 miles total and did so in under 11:30 pacing!! I ran MORE than a 5K without stopping! And I knocked off 3:30 from the 3.5 mile race I ran in January! [So much for not being as focused on my time ;)]
I have been non-stopped smiling every time I think about my run. I can not wait to run my next 5K [in the Texas heat on Memorial Day, eek!] without stopping. I can not wait to run the local YMCA 5K this year, and completely CRUSH my time from last year.