A new kind of challenge

One of my keywords for 2009 is MOVE. I want to get out and have adventures. See things and explore. Get my butt in gear and be active. Do something challenging that I can be proud about. (Ironically, I didn’t necessarily mean pack up my things and move into a new place, but I am next weekend.) 

I’ve never been a runner or even interested in running at any speed for most of my life. My high school and college were both well-regarded for stellar cross country and track teams, so I’m used to being around fast, active people. Last September, I decided I needed a new personal challenge and running became my outlet. I circled the Race for the Cure and the Outback Thanksgiving Day race as two races that I wanted to do, with the ultimate goal of doing a half-marathon. This challenge came at a good time for me, as I needed a distraction while my boyfriend was underway for a couple months with the Navy.  

Using a “Couch to 5K” plan, I worked my way up to the Race for the Cure 5K in about 5 weeks. I broke my goal of 30 minutes, by finishing the race in 29:02. I kept training and also completed the Outback Distance Classic 6K with my friend Stacey, under our goal of 36 minutes (6K=3.6 miles). In just over two months, I went from non-runner to finshing two races. I was kinda hooked!

Outback 6K  Race for the Cure 2008

Outback 6K (with Stacey) and Race for the Cure5k – 2008

Running presents challenges to me that I’ve never faced before. It’s hard. At least for me, since I’ve never ran without a ball in front of me or much more than a mile at a time. It takes dedication. I couldn’t go out and just run miles without putting in the training time. It’s a mental challenge. Running can be boring…especially on a treadmill. I’m just now learning how to push through pain and thoughts of “am I done yet?” (hint: just keep swimming) Now I’m embracing running as a great distraction and stress reliver. 

I’ve set new goals for myself for the first few months of 2009. I will run (and finish!) the Gate River Run 15K here in Jacksonville. This is the biggest race in Jax each year (and the U.S. National Championship for the 15K distance). It’s 9.3 miles through downtown, over 2 bridges and starts & finishes at the Jaguars’ Stadium. I’ll be one of 14,000+ people trying to tackle this distance on March 14th (one month!). If that’s not enough of a challenge, I’m also planning on running in Nashville on April 25th in the Country Music Half Marathon with my virtual running buddy, Kait. Dave Matthews and Jason Mraz play that evening @ Vanderbilt, so that will be part of our motivation to cross the finish line! 

I’ll continue to blog about my workouts and my progress towards the River Run and half marathon.  Yesterday, I set a new personal best by doing 6 miles in 62:20 on the treadmill. By using an adaptation of Hal Higdon’s 15K training schedule, which uses walk breaks during the long runs, I have become a fan of this method. It allows for a little recovery through the workout, lessening chances for injury, and also keeps me mentally engaged throughout the run. 

If you are a runner, spectator, or heckler and have some words of wisdom or encouragement, I’d love to hear them. I’m also looking for new music to add to my iPod for training. I made a great 6K playlist for the Outback run and look forward to doing the same for the River Run. Feel free to leave comments below and let me know what you think. 

MOVE is one of my challenges-resolutions-goals for 2009. What are yours and how are you following through on them?

A new kind of challenge

One thought on “A new kind of challenge

  1. Raechel Frogner says:

    Hey there Ms. Grumpy Gills! Just keep running!! Running! Now there’s a song to get stuck in your head 🙂

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