I didn’t quite make my 25-minute goal, but I still had a great run. My longest “nonstop” run was 12.5 minutes, with a total of 35 minutes of running and walking. It still felt good.
I’m fighting a LOT of mental energy. It’s just really hard to see myself as a runner and to see myself as capable of running for 10, 20, or 30 minutes. I know that sound silly and whiny- I mean, the mental part should be the easiest, right? But for me it seems like the mental part is the hardest.
I place a lot of the blame on my old P.E. teachers. I still have a vivid memory of my freshman year of high school, which was the last time I took a PE class. If you’ve taken a PE class in the last 20 years, then you know about “the mile”, presidential physical fitness tests, and so forth. I have NEVER been the athletic one. In school, I was the academic student, NOT the athlete. At the end of my freshman year of high school we had to do all these physical fitness tests. Now with all the exercise I had done that year (due to PE), I was in remarkably good condition, so I decided to make a challenge to myself: For the first time in my life, I was going run the mile without any walking. It was HARD. I had to really push myself. But as I ran around the last curve and approached the “finish line” I was bursting with pride and happiness. I did it! But I’ll never forget my PE teacher’s words:
“Time, 11:00 exactly. You’re the last one to get finished. Slowest in the class.”
It took me nearly 12 years before I had the courage to attempt to run again.
I’m still not a fast runner. But I WILL run. I will run a 5k. After that, maybe I will run farther. I will not stop. I can do this.