One of the items on my bucket list is to run a 10K. Well a 10K (6 miles) outside of the military. I’d done 10Ks before. Usually under duress as part of a platoon or company where the crazies (aka Commander or Senior Enlisted Member) decided that it would be good for team building & camaraderie for us to get in a formation call cadence and all that good military stuff.
Let me show you have I felt about that
I despise group runs with all the passion in my 147 centimeter frame. My stride is short and it took me many years to learn how to breathe correctly to improve my running efficiency. Running in a formation or group with longed legged gazelles tried my patience and my ability. When I left the military I said I wasn’t doing it again. But then I decided I wanted to someday run a marathon or a triathlon (yes, I know I am a wee bit touched) and thought the best course of action was to work up towards that starting with a 10K. Now when I came up with this plan I had an idea of training for said races and tackling each one as I felt prepared enough. I felt I needed the preparation because I have had no structured consistent workout since I left he military. For that matter I haven’t had a structured life since I left the military but that is a different story for a different day.
In February of this year a fellow teacher said, hey let’s run La Cursa del Corte Inglés in the first week of April. It’s free! I was hesitant, as I haven’t run for anything but a bus in metro in a long while. She sealed the deal by telling me I could walk it. I was down for that. Plus I figured it was almost 2 months away I could do some training to prepare for the race. Well, Littlefoot did possible one day of real preparation to get ready for the race and come Sunday, 7 April I said I will run for as much as I can fully expecting not to make it to 2km (just under a mile) running. Instead of competing with anyone else (rather without the need to compete against other Marines to prove something) I ran at a slow yet steady pace. It felt great to just do it, one foot in from the other, no stress, no pressure. I had no goals except the complete the race and if that meant walking it that was what I was going to do. I had my music on and ran around the walkers, the families walking nearly arm in arm and just put one foot in front of the other. When we got to the hill, I put my head down and ran then decided walking was better. I took pictures and enjoyed the view and sang along to my music.
At the halfway point I realized that I had made it in under an hour and that if I kept the pace I could complete the race in under two hours, maybe close to an hour and a half. I cranked up Disturbed’s “Down with the Sickness” (my go to running and lifting CD) and got moving. I dipped and dodged around the families with children and the walkers and when I wanted to walk I regulated my breathing and screamed (in my head) along with frontman David Draiman. It was exhilarating and exciting and when my watch showed the time as I crossed the finish line I felt doubly awesome yet thought in my head “I wonder if I had trained what would my time be then?” I shook the recriminations off and enjoyed the fact that I had completed my first post military 10K and crossed an item off my bucket list.
I wanted to tell you about this because despite my lack of preparation I did it, I ran that 10K. It is strange that it took committing to someone else to get me to complete the race. How often do we fulfil takes we commit to others to do but not ourselves? For me that is more often than I would like to admit. 2 years ago I stated to myself that I wanted to run a marathon within the next year before my birthday. I have yet to do it because I did not take my commitment to myself seriously enough. I don’t want it to be that I wait for someone else to challenge me or ask for moral support in order for me to accomplish my stated goals. I stated the month of April participating in the 30 Day Squat Challenge and this 10K give me the motivation to see it through. I was not consistent about doing my squats but I did them and I was easy on myself when I failed.
Going forward I will be running more often, taking it one day at a time. I will commit to doing some fitness everyday, whether that be squats, push-ups or just getting outside and pounding the pavement. I will do it. I must in order to be fit for life. Fitting into my purple string bikini without flashing others would be a nice but being about to run a marathon would be even better.
What will you commit to doing to be fit for life?