This weekend I did something I thought I would NEVER do - I flew to Ohio to participate in the Air Force Marathon. No I didn't actually run the marathon. I did the 10K and walked almost all of it at that. How? Why? I'm still processing and trying to figure all that out, but the basic story is that Trouble signed up with a team from her squadron in Colorado. They used it as a way to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project, one of her favorite charities anyway. She signed up months ago to run the half marathon, put together a training program for herself and talked her sister into doing it with her. Not long into the training process, her sister hurt her knee and was told she couldn't participate. I became the fill in, only there was no way I was going to run 13.1 miles. I opted for the 10K deciding that this was something I could do for her, and the training would be good for my health.
Training didn't go exactly as I had planned. I was supposed to do so many miles each week, working up to jogging the whole time but starting with a combination of walking and running. I never got very far with the jogging piece. Between back problems and what I thought was a bruised foot from Buildathon (which I now believe is plantar fasciaitis), I walked everything and didn't do it near as frequently as I should have. I even debated whether I was going to be able to participate in the event at all. I always had the option of down sizing to the 5K event and was contemplating doing just that up to 3 days before the event. I just couldn't do it - I knew that I would regret it and always feel like I had copped out.
Now that we're a couple of days after the event, my body is still sore but the sense of accomplishment is taking up more of my emotional space than the fatigue. I don't know if I ever really saw myself as a person who would volunteer for and complete a 10K - but I did it! Not only did I complete the full distance, I did it in under 2 hours, which means I kept a pace of more than 3 mph. For a person who is way overweight and has never been physically fit, that's pretty darn good! Granted, I need to do more than one race a year and actually lose the weight and get into better physical health. Wouldn't it be amazing if this became an annual event where I improved each time? Maybe next year I can run at least half of it and improve my time. Who knows what could be possible! I always here people talk about the mental preparation and how you can psych yourself up or psych yoruself out and I don't know how much stock I ever really put into that, but I noticed it a lot this weekend. I didn't set out to set a record or anything - but I wasn't going to let myself NOT do this. I just told myself that I was going to do it and while I was walking the course, I just focused on continually putting one foot in front of the other. I had good music to keep my spirits up (and good beats to help keep my pace steady), and found that the way I directed my thoughts had EVERYTHING to do with how I performed. It's the first time I feel like I've really experienced that. Very cool.