Kiometres, that is. Yesterday I ran, as I do 2-3 times a week. There was a break in the weather so I headed out. I was mentally preparing myself during the 5 minute warm-up walk, telling myself to not burn out during the following 5 minute free-form run, but to run as much of it as I could. Well, the 5 minute free-form run came around and I ran the entire 5 minutes. And, I didn’t burn out! I kept telling myself, “pace yourself, you’re only just warming up” and I actually listened! The drills started, 30 seconds of walking followed by 60 seconds of slow running. I also kept mental tabs on that key word, slow. Whenever I felt myself getting a little too quick, I reined it in, knowing that I would have my chance to let loose after the drills.
After I had done the interval training, it was time for another free-form run, 10 minutes this time. Ryder was just not having a bar of it. After failing to keep him distracted with a flower, I had to stop halfway through that 10 minutes. Thankfully I remembered to pause my gadgets this time. A quick cuddle and a scrounge around in my handbag for my emergency lolly stash and we were good to go again.
Only, I just couldn’t get back into the running rhythm I had going. I had turned around and was running in the opposite direction to what I usually do, right in the middle of one of the bush tracks I frequent on my runs. I had never run this direction before and I felt disoriented. I then quickly found out why I always feel so fast coming from the footpath to the gravel track, there is a fair incline there! I ended up walking for the remaining few minutes of that “leg”, which was followed by a 5 minute stretch and recovery period. Knowing that I had already stopped when I wasn’t supposed to, I decided to run through that stretching break to make up for lost time. I quickly got back into my groove and was chugging along nicely when the final leg of my run started. Another 10 minute free-form. I made myself keep moving for this final 10 minutes, as I glanced at my watch I had done just over 4km. I thought of Kate and all the other fabulous OpMovers and I let my legs fly.
Even when my training program said “mission accomplished”, I kept running. Even when I reached the point where I usually cross the road and walk up my driveway, I kept running. I was so close. 4.89km. I could do this. I was going to crack that elusive 5km. But then, disaster. One wheel dipped ever so slightly off the side of the path, jolting me back to reality. Thankfully I stopped instantly, without tipping the pram over or careening towards the busy road just metres away. I made sure Ryder was OK and I kept going, walking now. I had only taken a few steps when I glanced at my watch again. 5.00. It hadn’t beeped and flashed my time for that “lap” yet, so I took a few more steps until it did. I was elated when the screen changed and I turned back towards home. My final distance was 5.07km, completed in 52 minutes and 18 seconds. My first 5k, with my son on board.
I was on a high as I climbed my front steps and walked through the front door. Upon realising that we were home, Ryder reminded me that he was not very happy and very tired. Laying beside him as he fell asleep, I burst into tears as the gravity of what i had just achieved hit home. I shared my experience with the amazing OperationMove group, which led to more tears as the encourgement and congratulations poured in.
It may seem strange to become so emotional over running of all things, I certainly wasn’t prepared to be so completely overwhelmed either. But that feeling of “I actually made it!” was just too hard to ignore. 251 days to go.