Today was right around the one year point from when I started my Couch to 5K with the Nashville Running Company. I am honestly shocked by how far I have come and 90% of me is putting this out there in hopes of inspiring other people to push their limits.*
I have been in a serious contemplation mode for while now and something else happened today that reminded me that life moves fast and you should spend it doing the things you love. (Or as Charles Bukowski put it, “Find the thing you love and let it kill you.”)
Around 2:00 this afternoon I found out my best friend from childhood’s father died. I was very close to his dad when I was young, but hadn’t seen him for years. I immediately felt guilty that I didn’t stop by when I was home for Christmas. Another missed opportunity in life and all the more reason to “just do it.”
I tend to beat myself up for stuff like that, but we are human and can’t do everything. That said, most of us can certainly do more than we do. Death is a powerful motivator and as you grow older the reminder comes far too often.
In reality, I have made huge strides in the last year and am following through more often. I immersed myself in becoming a healthier and better person. The catch is, often we are too close to the process and don’t realize the progress. Yes, one year ago today I couldn’t run a mile. Today I did a tempo run (with Jim pushing my ass again!) of 5 x 5 minute splits with a one minute jog between, plus a 20 minute warm up and a 30 minute cool down. Here’s the breakout:
Warm Up – 20 mins at around 9:30
1st 5 minute split pace – 7:37
2nd 5 minute split pace – 7:26
3rd 5 minute split pace – 7:18
4th 5 minute split pace – 7:25
5th 5 minute split pace – 7:47
30 Minute cool down at 8:44
Total running time around 1 hour 20 minutes.
I feel really good about that performance, especially considering we did a bike/run brick yesterday and at least two of those splits were on a legitimate hill. Next month I will be running the New Orleans Half Marathon and am pretty confident I will hit my goal of 1:45. That would be a 1/2 hour faster than I did the Country Music 1/2 last April.
As my legs burned during the cool down today, I was talking with a woman in our group about how a lot of people tell her she’s “lucky” she likes to run. And how she’s “lucky” she’s good at running. I completely understood her point because a year ago I would have told her the same thing. Not only did I hate running, I didn’t think I could do it.
The truth is, we can do almost anything we set our minds to and my mind is now set on an Ironman. I haven’t come close to swimming 2.4 miles, the most I’ve ever biked is half the distance, and I’ve never ran a marathon. But now is the time to live and push the limits of what life has to offer. It’s free and anyone can join.
* The other 10% is ego.