Just yesterday I was talking about feeling torn between running and powerlifting in October, and I had decided that I would rather do the powerlifting. Well, not too long after writing that blog post, my husband sent me a text message saying that I should do a 5K race that is being put on by a neighbourhood restaurant/friend. To be honest, I had already received several invitations to enter the race via Facebook…months ago! The restaurant owner friend had previously, on two occasions, talked to me about entering the race. When I was first told about it, I had said that it might fit nicely into the gap between powerlifting competitions. I said ‘maybe’ to the first Facebook invite and ‘no’ to the second.
I’ve had conflicting thoughts with every post about the race. Initially, I think I was excited about the possibility, because I do enjoy running. This race is quite literally in my neighbourhood. A portion of the race will be visible from my living room window! This year is shaping up to be pretty much a non-running year, so I was looking forward to fitting in a little race. However, as the days and weeks passed, powerlifting took over my body and brain, while running was put up on the shelf. As much as I do enjoy running, getting out the door can be more of a battle than the actual run. With going to the gym and powerlifting, I have never yet not wanted to go to the gym. Even when I know that something distasteful like laterals may be on the menu for the day, I still can’t wait to get there. Even when I was super frustrated with my deadlift going nowhere, I still couldn’t wait to get there. Running isn’t always like that. I will want to run and will plan to run, but I drag my feet getting out the door. Once I am outside, I feel the joy in running, but it can take a lot of will-power to get outside. The less I run, the harder it is to get out the door.
How often have I run in 2015? That’s an easy one to answer! February 9 and February 14. Twice. That’s it. That’s all. Such a change from previous years. I had a little hip issue flare-up in January. Two runs in February. Then I was focused on the powerlifting competition in April. So, while the desire to run this May race has always been lurking beneath the surface, I would have been quite content to let it pass me by. But then Kane texted me…
If I hadn’t talked with Michael that morning about running and powerlifting, then I might have been able to reply to Kane’s text with a ‘not interested’, but I did talk to Michael and suddenly a short race in May seemed possible again. I fired off a text to Michael asking if he thought that would be okay, fairly certain that he would agree, which he did. So I registered. The race is May 31, which makes me feel a small degree of panic, because I have not run for 3 months, and really I have only done 5 short runs since the beginning of October last year! Essentially I have two weeks to get this body ready to run 5 kilometres. Even as I panic, I realize that I am probably freaking out over nothing. I ran my best 5K ever on New Year’s eve after close to three months of no running.
So, I went for a run this morning. I didn’t expect much aside from burning lungs and legs, but I just wanted to get a couple of kilometres under my belt (if I were wearing a belt!) As predicted, despite my intention to run, it was a struggle to get out the door, but I had no regrets once I did. I kept an easy pace, not concerned with having a stellar finishing time. Really, I just wanted to run the entire distance without dying. The lungs didn’t start to burn too badly until almost the first kilometre mark, and then the dreaded side stitch reared its’ ugly head off and on for the remainder of my run. Although my cardio is obviously better than I think it should be after months of not running, it still isn’t where it was last year. My legs began to burn almost right from the start, but it wasn’t long before those muscles remembered and said, “We’ve got this!” In fact, there is one point along my short route where I must cross a traffic-light controlled street. After crossing the street, I can turn left and finish on a relatively flat course, or go straight and take a hilly way home. As I approached the light, my lungs were hoping for a short rest while waiting for the light to change. My head and lungs were already planning on turning left to take the easier way home. My feet ran straight for the hill. I thought I might die on that hill, but I made my way up it with more ease than I expected. It wasn’t easy, but I survived. It’s such a mind game!