This summer is going to be absolutely amazing.
Last summer I was just trying to run more in order to cross the half marathon finish line. I distinctly remember the day I ran six miles straight which was some combination of a mile warm-up and cool down, with the middle sets something along the lines of two minutes hard, three minutes easy. Each week was some sort of personal record because before I started, I hadn’t run more than 5 miles straight.
Now I’m focusing on getting under 22 minutes for my 5k. It’s an easy feat for some women, but for me I’ve been striving for this since my junior year of high school. I remember the pep talks my cross country coach would give me while I was on the starting line doing some strides. “Just run three 7:00 miles. That’s it. We will give you splits at each mile. Just three 7:00 miles.” It sounds so simple, doesn’t it?
The closest I came then was 22:08.
The closest I’ve come now was 22:15, in my first (and only) 5k of this year.
I am much more educated in terms of running, workouts, and my diet than I ever was in high school. All my training since I started last year has been towards the half marathon and I’ve undoubtedly gotten faster in all distances since I started, but gearing everything towards a faster 5k makes me really excited to see where I can go.
My goals aside, there’s so many people I know that are interested in running together now which is also what makes this summer so exciting. I love being able to check Twitter and see who’s running where, or ask if anyone wants to get a group run together. We may all run different paces, but it’s awesome to have that support. It’s really beneficial for those weekend long runs when planned early in the week — knowing other people are going keeps me accountable to get up and not sleep in another hour. Then there’s the fact that the Mister enjoys running at the track and doing his own strength thing, so while he might not be running with me, being able to go with somebody keeps me motivated. Last but not least, there’s a group of people who do some “unorthodox” (aka not gym-oriented) strength training every Tuesday and I think I’m going to make every effort to go almost weekly. Again, thank you Twitter for allowing people to connect! Oh, and how could I forget the fact that I have a bike now? No more worrying about fitting in classes at Bike or Bar and being inside on gorgeous days to get my cross training in!
I don’t have a goal race planned because for a 5k, I don’t think it’s really necessary. The heart of this summer is just enjoying what I’m able to do, with an agenda of breaking a time goal. I’ll be running races all summer, why pick just one?
Below is the schedule I’ve come up with. Hopefully I’ll be more successful with my training schedule this summer given everything above, but as always I’m sure I’ll change things given the weather and life. I can’t wait to get started!
I will get faster at the 5k!