“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start”
About 4 years ago, I decided it was time to change something about my lack of exercise. Running was were I started, and it started off slow. Prior to that, the last time I ran a mile without stopping was probably sometime in middle school, if ever. I found a race to get started, a coach who put together a training plan, and a running partner. All the necessities to be held accountable.
The race was a cancer fundraiser on Father’s Day that consisted of a 5k, 3×1 5k relay, and a kids run. The event was a perfect opportunity, at the time 3.2 miles (5k) seemed so far, I wasn’t ready for that. Why not split that distance between three people! I got a team together: my husband, his sister and myself with their Dad as our “coach”. Jena, my sister-in-law, was a runner and on a college cross country and track team. I relied on her to put together my training plan, how many times a week, what type of workout, how far, how fast, etc. Who knew that if you are training for a race you don’t just go out and run that distance multiple times a week! There were sprint workouts at the track, faster shorter runs and slower longer runs.
A plan without action is not worth much. My running partner, a.k.a. my husband, ran sprint races in high school so he was used to training. He just doesn’t enjoy running longer distances so this race was perfect for him. We followed the plan Jena put together for us, I paced him on the longer run days and he pushed me during the sprint workouts. Over time we grew stronger, and found that we could run further and faster. My mile time got down to just above eight minutes!
Race day came and we named ourselves “Rog’s Runners” since it was Father’s Day and all. Coach Rog determined our running order and gave us a speech. Bo would start it off, handing it over to myself, and Jena would bring it home. We lined up and there were about six teams total. We sized up our competition and thought we had a decent chance. Bo started us off and got us in a good position, a few runners passed me while I was running, but Jena had no troubles passing a younger boy to get us the 1st place trophy!
Moral of the story is that it all started with a decision to try. Followed by setting a realistic goal, a plan on how to get there, and surrounding myself with a support system. Since this relay race I have run one other 5k (all 3.2 miles by myself) and the 10k Corporate Cup twice.
Don’t be afraid to start, you might just end up with a first place trophy for doing so!