I'm not a runner. I find it hard, and cumbersome and I have to force myself to go. I don't have a great technique, and one guy once told me to stop 'slapping' my feet on the concrete, and just, running is HARD. However, running is also free. So I run as one of the things I do to feel less pudding like. For years, I've been trying to run, with this magic 5k goal in mind. I vaguely remember trying to run back in New Zealand (in 2010) with Quinn. With the Couch 2 5k podcasts, but I never got past week two.
When I moved to London, I got all pudding like was determined that I'd beat the Heathrow Injection. Spoiler - didn't really. I did start running regularly with the guys at work, which got me into some kind of habit. I knew I COULD run, which was helpful, even if was not especially graceful about it. I had a route, which was also helpful. And I had people to guilt me into going.
However, when I ran, I'd get to a few random points on the route and just... flake out and walk. I'd pick a landmark, a post, a box, a tree. And once there I'd start running again. Maybe I was running too fast? Perhaps I just lacked the will?
I mostly remember thinking about how hard running was. How my legs hurt, or my lungs or whatever.
I ran when I was training for Kili, and as part of rowing training. Which was hard, because it wasn't just running, it was running and strength training and all of the things. Because rowing is hard, and you need to be fit to row. Still, I didn't run like the others did. I never sprinted when our guy said sprint. I was too worried about rolling and ankle, or injury. The closer the climb got, the less running I did.
Fast forward to three months ago, and I started the new job, and I joined the running club. Running two or three times a week. At first we ran 3k, and we ran it slow, with much walking. And then we ran it slower, and ran all the way around. It was good, we got into a rhythm, and started the rule that if you couldn't hold up your end of the conversation, you were running too fast.
We run around Southbank, across the bridges that span the Thames. It's nice, pretty views of all the tourist things (Tower Bridge, the Shard, The London Eye, Westminster etc etc). A few weeks ago, instead of turning at Blackfriars, we ran on till Waterloo. We ran slow, and easy.
And surprise, I managed to run around the full 5k circuit. And then I did again a few days later. And then again this week, just to make sure.
It has been on The List for years. And each time I've come close, it just hasn't happened. Now? Now that I know I can run 5k, I do. It's a mental thing now, a matter of will.
It helps that I have a crew. A group of us who run regularly, and are all at the same level. We're not flash, or fast, but high five, we can run 5k!
It's ridiculous, because I know people run marathons. But running is fucking hard, it's definitely not something that comes naturally, and I am ridiculously pleased with myself that I have finally, managed to run 5k, with no walking breaks.
The running club, after our first 5k run!
The route, care of run keeper. Ridiculously pleased with myself, did I say?
So yes, Number 102, done!