Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Less Than 1 Week to My 10K Race!

I don't think I have talked about this at all on my blog, but over the past few months, I've been following a 10K training plan. I have run two official 5Ks in my life, and I wanted to up my game to a challenging but doable new level. When I started my training for the 10K, I had no expectations and didn't even sign up for a race. I have never run more than 3.5 miles at a time in my entire life. I didn't know how my body was going to respond to the increased mileage, so I didn't want to set an unreasonable goal until I knew a bit more about my capabilities. I didn't really start running at all until graduate school when I really decided to take control of my fitness and wanted something where I could easily measure my progress and set goals. Running fit the bill.

At first, I hated running. It was painful, and I couldn't even run for more than a few minutes without getting winded. I completed the Couch to 5K program to run my first 5K in summer of 2011. I followed the program again during summer 2013 to run my second 5K. At this point, I didn't feel like I wanted to die after the race and was even starting to enjoy running. Thus, I challenged myself to a 10K. I need structure, so having a plan to follow was key. I found one that matched my abilities and went to town.

Our Graduate Student Association at Northwestern does a 5K/10K every year, and the timing fortuitously lined up with my training schedule. The race is this Saturday (eep!). I'm feeling mostly ready. A bunch of MatScis are signed up for the race, so I'll be in good company. I even convinced my friend Ricardo to do the 5K, which will be his first race. Also, Andy will be running with me, so I'll have someone to cheer me on/make me keep running. :)

The plan I'm following started with a 1.5 mile run. The plan is nominally 8 weeks, but I have been following it more casually, so it has taken me a little bit longer. I completed a 5 mile run last week and felt awesome afterward. I even took a gym selfie to mark the occasion.

I probably looked like a weirdo in the gym, but whatev.

This week is my tapering week, so I'm only doing a 3 mile and a 2 mile run in addition to IM soccer and some stationary bike cross training. I'm really excited for the race on Saturday. I think it's safe to say that I (gasp) even enjoy running now. It clears my head and gives me some time all to myself without distraction. When the weather is nice, running is a great way to see new parts of Chicago. I think that it's true what they say about runner's high. After pushing through one race and vowing never to do it again, you just go right back and sign up for your next race. :)

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