Fourth of July weekend is fun for everyone- BBQs, fireworks, lots of sunshine! This weekend I get to raise a glass to myself. One year ago today, July 4, 2013, I went for my first run ever. It was slow and involved just as much walking as running, but what a beautiful thing it started!
I trained all summer for my first 5k. Following a training plan helped make the running habit stick since it encouraged me to work hard no matter how hot it was or what other plans I had. With the support of my family and wonderful boyfriend, Mike, I finished the 5k without any walking breaks, and faster than I thought I would!
After the race, I let my running slack a bit. In October I realized I needed a new goal if I was going to keep running so I started training for a 10k. As it quickly got colder I realized I wasn’t quite ready for outdoor winter running.
I ran when I could stand it in the cold (not much) and did some strength training when I was stuck inside. Once the weather started warming up, I started running more and more. It took a little while to get back into it but once I did I felt better than ever and ready for my next challenge.
I started a 24-week half marathon training plan. I followed it for a few weeks but then I was recommended a different plan. It was shorter and ends perfectly timed for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Philly so I got my sister on board too!
The past year with running has had its ups and downs but I’m so thankful for whatever clicked in my head a year ago. I love to compare where I am each day to where I was a year before. A year ago I would never have believed that I would get up early to fit in a 3 mile run, which is actually a short run for the week in my training plan!
Running has also helped my health dramatically. I used to use asthma as my excuse for why I wasn’t active. Now that I’m running, I’ve improved my lung function significantly and feel so awesome about it. I got a sample rescue inhaler last time I went to the allergist that only had 15 uses on it. 8 months later I still have 5 uses left on it!
Looking forward to the year ahead, I have a few goals. First, I am going to finish training for and then run my first half marathon. (That’s another one of those things that I can’t believe I’m saying. I would have laughed before if anyone told me I would ever do that!) After that I want to actually keep up my running through the fall and winter. I also want to work on speeding up so I will work on getting a faster 5k.
Happy 4th of July so everyone and a special cheers to all the runners!