Hey Everybody!!!! My first 5K is a little less than 1 month away and I am ON FIRE! I’m finally growing more excited than I am nervous. I have some great news, so stay tuned for updates from the past two weeks. Also, feel free to check out my previous Journey to 5k posts:
Here are the stats:
I’ve made some pretty impressive gains these past two week and I’m honestly shocked myself. As I mentioned in my last update, I was ditching my running plan and just going to run until I cant anymore. On the 20th I ran 1.5 miles and was completely surprised I made it that far. I ran and just didn’t get tired for a while. Previously I had only made it 1 mile, so I wasn’t expecting that.
This past week was even more incredible. On Monday, I ran for 22 minutes straight! I was so close to the 2 mile mark, but I was still satisfied with my progress. On Wednesday, I ran for 35 minutes. This was a treadmill run because it was rainy, but I’ve struggled on the treadmill before, so I still believe that the 35 minutes was progress especially since I had only made it 22 minutes a couple days before. On Friday, I ran for 45 minutes straight. This was also a treadmill run, but I still had energy left to keep going if I had put my mind to it.
What I’ve Done Differently
I’m curious as to how my treadmill progress will translate to my outdoor runs. I’d love it if I could make it the full 3.1 miles (or more), but even if I don’t, I know I’m getting close! I have a few theories for why my progress has been so great these past two weeks. First, I got my cramps under control. I no longer eat right before running and if I do, I try to limit it to a banana. I don’t run on a completely empty stomach, but now I allow AT LEAST 2 hours before running. I found I can usually tell during my warm-up whether or not my stomach is prepared for the run. I also make sure I use the restroom before heading out the door.
Something else that I believe has contributed to my progress is switching up my route. Previously, I had been running the same route in the same way, and my body would start to fatigue in the same place each time. I believe I had started to psyche myself out. The day I ran 1.5 miles, I had started my run in a different spot. It was the same route, but I tackled a different part of the route first. By doing this, my mind didn’t really know where I might start to get tired. Running can truly be a mind game sometimes. Also, the day I ran for 45 minutes on the treadmill, I watched Netflix while doing so. I also covered up the timer on the treadmill. When I ran the 35 minutes, I found myself constantly watching the time and that’s one thing I hate about treadmills.
One last thing I believe has played a role in my progress is practice. I think my body is beginning to adjust to running longer distances. Before, I was amazed by how much progress I was making from week to week. Now I’m mind-blown by how much progress happens from run to run! I run every other day and for the past two weeks, I have been going farther and longer with each run. I’ve learned how to better pace myself, how to breathe in rhythm with my running, and how to overcome my cramps. Yes, I have gotten stronger, but I also believe there are many techniques I have learned that have enhanced my running as well.
In addition to my running, I’ve also been better about strength training or cross training. Whether I go to the gym, a boxing class, biking or working out with Kelly and Daniel from Fitness Blender (on YouTube), I’ve been putting forth a conscious effort to be active more often. I’ve also been taking vitamins that I’m deficient in. I am unsure how much that has played a role, but I know it hasn’t hurt. Finally, my mom gave me a performance drink called Sustain Sport Performance Hydration and it that tastes like Kool-Aid. I just mix the packet into my water and I can tell it’s kicked in once I start dancing! I’ve used it during my 3 most recent runs and I like it. The packet says it helps prevent early fatigue and I think it’s working. I’m unable to tell if I’m just getting stronger or if it’s the drink, but it may be a mix of both.
(Here is the amazon link for the Sustain Sport Performance Hydration drink if you’re interested!)
With the Color Run being 27 days away, I officially feel confident that I can do this! My progress has left me amazed and I’m only getting stronger. I think back to week 3 when I had to run for 90 seconds and walk for 3 minutes, 6 times through, and I use to struggle. I think back to the days where I had to run for 6 minutes and I had to repeat that workout for two weeks straight because of how challenging it was for me. When I cross that finish line on the 28th, the amazing part won’t be the fact that I finished. My joy and sense of accomplishment will be rooted in how much work it took for me to get there. I started this Journey to 5K at the end of March and I’m proud of myself for my commitment, discipline and dedication. Not only am I excited for my race, but I’m excited to see what all my body can do going forward as well! This is only the beginning!