Thursday, February 2, 2012

Run Kara, Run!

So, running.  Turns out I like it...a lot.  I'll be honest, I'm not a natural athlete; I never really liked playing sports.  Ask Karl, he can vouch for me.  I'm not a particularly competitive or aggressive person and those qualities tend to be associated with athletes.  I was happy sitting on the side lines when it came to gym class or any other physical activity. 

Last Spring, my friend wanted to try the Couch to 5k program and convinced me to do it with her.  We agreed to meet 2-3 times a week at a nearby track, and our goal was to run in a local 5k in October.  The workouts were painful at best - I struggled to 'run' (word is used liberally) the beginning 30 second intervals.  At first, my lungs burned, my heart pounded furiously, my shins ached, and I had terrible side stiches.  And despite all the discomfort, I liked the feeling I had afterwards - I was sore, but I felt like a champion.  Each time I hit the track I did something I never thought possible - went further, went harder, went a bit faster.

I'm fortunate in the fact that my company has a gym on-site, free to employees.  My running regimine quickly went from 2-3 times a week to 5 and 6.  In a few months I could run for 20 minutes at a time...slow, but it was actual running!  The Summer months were brutally hot and our outdoor workouts took a backseat, and yet I was still working out faithfully on my lunch hours.

I signed up and ran in the Jared Coones Pumpkin Run in October; it was exciting and fun and more difficult than I imagined.  But, I loved the buzz of being around all those runners.  I ran 3.1 miles!  A feat of epic proportion in my mind, considering I couldn't run 30 seconds months prior.  As soon as I finished, I knew I wanted to do more and improve my time.  So, it turns out that my athleticism is just latent...I have mid-life athleticism, if you will.