Running 5K, one goal at a time

Almost 4 months ago, I jumped on here to lament how much I dislike running. A bold statement from someone who was…BARELY actually running anywhere.

Every day I would leave the house with the intention of running/jogging/walking 5 kilometres, and I’d be lucky if I made it to 3 before deciding that it was “good enough”.

Then winter hit, and running outside became unsafe and/or impossible. So I did what I had been putting off for so long: I got a gym membership.

My first day at the gym, once I found a treadmill to my liking (by which I of course mean in the back corner) I found it came pre-loaded with several workout options. And right there, on the top right: Run 5K. So much for my “good enough” tendencies. By pressing that button, I am committing to that distance.

The first time I tried it, it took me nearly 50 minutes to run it, just pushing the upper pacing limit I would have to reach by April. So I set myself my first goal: 45 minutes.

To take my mind off of just how long that feels, I started downloading TV episodes onto my phone to watch while I run, figuring those run about 45 minutes, so when the episode is done, then I’ll be done.

I’ve slowly been making my way through Timeless (which I highly recommend if you haven’t seen it). Problem with the show is that the episodes run 42 minutes, not 45. so my second goal was to get through my run by the time the episode ended, which I reached in mid-January

My third goal, which had been at the back of my head since I started was to run the full 5K in under 40 minutes. The next few weeks were filled with so many, and I mean SO MANY near misses. The day I ran the distance in 40:08 still stings.

So when I finally managed it in 39:15 two weeks ago, I did what any rational millennial would. I marked the occasion with not one but TWO celebratory Instagram posts.

This past week, the weather sort of forgot about the fact that it’s wintertime and it was nice enough to actually try running outside. I was feeling REAL good about this. I couldn’t do it before but that was then. Now, I’m the one who can run on the faster side of my pacing limit. I was gonna go outside and show those 5 kilometres who’s BOSS.

Yeah ok. So about that.

Running outside doesn’t even feel remotely the same as running on a treadmill, as anyone who has ever actually run before would know. My lungs threatened to stage an evacuation of my chest cavity about 5 minutes in. And with the snowstorm that finally decided to show up, it’s going to be a while before I can try running outside again.

I’m sure I’ll get the chance to run outside before mid-April but sometimes I can’t help but wonder: wouldn’t it be funny if the first time I ran outside was on race day?

Pictured here: me wondering if maybe I should just call an Uber

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