Sunday, May 3, 2015

First 5K Run

Heading into the finish
I have kept running since I started over the Christmas holidays (excepting a week or two where the temperature never rose above the single digits and the wind chill was well below zero). Running has become a lot more enjoyable than I expected it would be. Not that there aren't some days where I groan at the idea of getting out there, but it is a nice way to make sure I get outside more. As the weather has improved, it's great to be outside and running is one more way to do that. Running has also proved to be a great way to enhance cardiovascular fitness, and it helps me calm my mind and face the day with positive energy. I've even noticed that my legs have become harder (i.e., stronger) and my sense of physical balance is improving a lot.

It was slow going at first, but I'm now running close to two miles each time I go out. This is an important goal, because the train station is two miles away from our house. So, if I can do two miles, then I could sometimes run home from the train station instead of taking the bus. That would increase the number of runs I do each week in a convenient way and further increase my endurance.

Over the past few months, I've learned a lot about running. Pacing is really important. It's easy to burn out by running too hard, too fast. Breathing is key, too. Of course, it's kind of hard to succeed at anything if you stop breathing! However, in running I had a tendency to gulp air or breath shallow. It's important to pay attention to breathing and keep it as natural as possible. That is very similar to what some people do in meditation.

This weekend, the work all paid off. I ran my first 5K run and completed it in 31 minutes! Quite a milestone since I ran almost the entire race (very little walking), even though it was a longer course than I'd ever attempted before. So I suppose I need to find ways to keep pushing myself.

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