If there's one thing I wish I'd done on this Couch to 5K journey, it's keep a journal. I ran my last program run this morning...30 minutes in the pre-dawn. I was stoked for this run because it's the last official one. Is it my last run? Ha! No. Not at all. Now I'm on to improving my 5K, and there's a lot of improvement left to do.
While the program is built to last nine weeks, I stretched it out to 16. I can think over the months and remember the trends in my abilities and moods, but I wish I still had the specifics. One thing is for sure...this has been one of the most transformative experiences of my life.
I wanted this morning's run to be great. Maybe set a new pace record or really crush it. In truth, it was a damn hard run. I didn't sleep well last night, and I started a strength training regimen yesterday that left my legs tired and spent.
But I did it anyway, even though it was hard, I was tired, and I didn't want to get out of bed at 5 a.m. I missed my goal pace by a minute, but it was a hard run, and it's OK. You have to get through the sucky ones to get to the really good ones. And when did I ever think I'd be able to run 30 minutes straight? When I was in high school that was out of the question for me. Now, at 35, I'm game.
- Confidence. Doing new things and doing them well takes a lot of time, devotion, and perseverance. Sometimes the improvements are only incremental, but they are valuable and worthwhile all the same. I've done this, and I can do much more.
- Courage. I've been courageous in some ways...when it comes to pushing through the hard stuff for my family, for instance. I haven't been very courageous about trying new things. The fear of looking silly or failing gets in the way. Running has drastically lessened my fear of embarrassment and...let's face it...pain.
- Control. A greater handle on my health, the ability to make wiser food choices, decreased anxiety, and the mental strength to push myself toward the next goal.
I'm just so happy. I'm so, so proud, and I'm not afraid to say that out loud. I'M SO PROUD! I can run.
There's no way you could possibly know how much your kind words of encouragement here--on Twitter, Instagram, via email, all over--have kept me going. Thank you, thank you. It's still a long road ahead, but I'm excited for it.