About a year ago, I got myself a case of runners’ knee. Well, at least that’s what I ascertained was the problem thanks to my google diagnostic skills. Do you know how many problems I’ve solved with google?! (Oh, and did you know that “?!” is an actual punctuation mark? It’s called an interrobang – that little nugget is thanks to wikipedia 🙂 ).
As it started to get a little chilly outside, I figured it was a good time to hop off the bike and try to run again. So I downloaded an app onto my phone called…<drumroll>…Learn to Run! It takes you from half running half walking 30minutes, to running a full hour. I’m a little less than halfway through the program now, and loving it!
Although I’m nowhere close to a fast runner right now – any adult could speed walk the pace I run (or jog rather!) – it’s still enough to get my heart rate up there, while keeping my knee out of harms way. So I decided to sign up for a 5k, which took place this past Sunday. The plan was to use the race as one of my workouts thus sharing in the Team Revolution camaraderie while getting a workout in. It turned out to be a greater challenge than I’d envisioned.
All my friends doing the 5k were planning to do around a 9min/mile. My run/walk pace is more like a 14min/mile. Haha. So, I mentally prepared myself to finish last. In the end, I wasn’t quite last, but among those who had friends waiting to cheer them as they came in.
Although I’d already determined not to race, but rather use this as one of my training runs, it was so hard to withhold myself. There were a few people I would pass up during my run time, but they would pass me during my walk time. My knee felt alright and I was tempted to run through my walk times just so I could stay ahead of them.
Additionally, chances were slim that I’d finish my entire work-out since the last workout covered a little over 4miles…If I just ran the entire time, at least wouldn’t come in last place! I know from experience that it sucks having the sweepers behind you.
At the end of the day, my greatest challenge, in summary, was learning to run my own race. The race isn’t against the person just ahead of me. The race is for me to run the right way. I hated it that I came in last in my age group. And I imagined what people must have thought of me during the walk portions of my workout.
All these insecurities plagued me for 3miles. I had to constantly remind myself to run my own race, my own way…to follow the directions from my trustee app rather than following the inclination to compete against the two obese ladies just ahead of me.
And so, I’m learning to run. Learning to run my own race with patience.