Monday, April 29, 2013

The Third 100 Miles

My 300th mile was not at my first 5K as I planned. It was two weeks later on a rainy April day in during of the most physically exhausting and spirit-crushing runs I’ve ever experienced. As miserable as that run was, somehow it made sense.

Buffy & I at the 5K!
Like my first 100 miles I managed to get this this hundred miles done in about three months, (unlike the second hundred which took four and a half months). I signed up for a 5K that was going to be held on my birthday as a my birthday present to myself.

Having a 5K to work towards really is a great motivator to stay on program and get outside and run. I went to my favorite running store, Fleet Feet and bought some gear to run outside. For the most part I run inside but this 5K was going to be outside and the weather in March in Chicago could get cold so I needed to prepare myself.

The lady at Fleet Feet was really nice as she picked out pants from the tightest fit to the more modest pair and gave me a tutorial on how to layer in cold weather. The first time I put on these clothes, especially the tight stuff I was apprehensive but it felt good and it seemed to make sense, so I got about too outfits of outside running gear.

At first I wasn’t sure about wearing tight running gear but when you actually run in this kind of a outfit it really feels right and honestly, it looks worse to wear shorts over tights then to just where tights by themselves.  And if someone thinks I look ridiculous when I run, so what, I’m making miles happen.

I had my outfits, I did some cold weather runs that felt pretty good and then the 5K came. I wasn’t really nervous. I had done the 5K distances as my standard running workout so I knew I could handle it. What I wasn’t ready for was all of the people.

I started towards the back and after a mile of passing people, I realized that ths was real. This was the first time I ran in a group of people and while managing the traffic patterns was tough at times, the energy was fantastic.

I finished 433 out of 1457 and beat my best 5K time by 6 minutes. While this was a big deal, it all felt a little anti-climactic.  I was happy I had done this but all of the hours and miles didn’t add up to one big pay off.

As I worked my way up to the big 300th mile the following two weeks it started to make sense. Each run had its own pay off which it's why its such an powerful thing to run. What made me proud wasn’t the 5K, but knowing that I had stuck with a work-out program for nine months. Each mile was simply a step in a journey that I have yet to complete.

I’m not sure what the future holds for me with running. I’ll probably do another 5K in the future, maybe a 10K. We'll see.  A lot can happen in 100 miles.

This past week I wasn’t able to get a run in. Every time I saw someone running I was jealous.  Today, I finally got a run in which felt like a gift to myself as I worked my way to 400.

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