Saturday, May 30, 2015

One Year on MFP-- and Looking Forward

So today marks my one year anniversary on MFP. I had lost some weight prior to joining MFP, so this particular one year mark shows a loss of 152.4 pounds. That's accounting for the fact that I just got home from a vacation a week ago and I still haven't shed all of my "vacation weight."

Today is also a 5k that I have been looking forward to for about a year as well. Every year, my local church congregation sponsors a 5K run/walk/ride. To be followed by breakfast. It's just meant to be a fun family/fellowshipping activity. There is no registration. No T-shirts. No medals. It's just a run. And of course, they want to attract as many people as possible, so tell us that if you can't run, walk. If you don't want to run or walk, you can ride your bike. Or just show up for breakfast and be sociable.

Last year, I was coming home from the gym and I saw the participants just starting out on the 5k. I decided then and there that by the time they did this again the next year, I was going to be ready and able to participate. So, I've been looking forward to this "race" for a long time. My cousin has agreed to do it with me. Now, she is a much more experienced runner than I am… has even completed a few marathons. If I remember correctly… the Boston Marathon was one of them. So, she could probably run this course twice (or more!) in the time it takes me to do it once. But I love that I can do it with my family. My very best friend in the world (outside of my family) who runs 4 miles just for a warm-up, (last I heard, he's finished 12 marathons) may join me as well. But it was kind of last minute when I was able to get ahold of him to let him know, so I'm really not holding my breath on that one. But either way… This is something I've been looking forward to and it seems somehow perfect that it coincides with my MFP one year mark.

I'm also considering training for half marathon in October. The very thought scares me. But it's exciting at the same time. And I gather that's kind of the definition of a good goal, right? Last October, I participated in my first ever 5k. I walked the whole thing. This October I could participate in my first ever half-marathon. Plus it would be the week after my birthday. That sounds like a fantastic way to start out the next year of my life.

After completing my 10K training program, I decided I wanted to increase my speed, so I've been working with a 5k pacer program on my runs. And to be honest… it kinda sucks! It certainly hasn't done jack nothing for increasing my speed thus far. I find I don't really enjoy it either. I miss just seeing how long I can run for. This past Thursday, I kinda did that. I just ran at my comfortable pace, without focusing on speed. And I kept running after the program told me it was done. Just kept going until I wanted to be done. And I loved it! And while it wasn't a PR… it was still like my 4th fastest time for that distance (3-5 miles). Which is a far sight better than the "your 16th fastest time" that I've been getting. So, I'm thinking my "true calling," when it comes to running anyway… lies in the longer distances. That's where I find my joy in running. I know 3-5 miles is hardly a long distance when we are talking distance running, but it is my longest distance. And my mind and body likes it a lot better than the speed work I've been doing. So, the idea of training for a half marathon really appeals to me. However, although I've completed the 10k training program, I have yet to go a full 6.2 miles. So, I'm thinking that from now until the time I actually need to start my half-marathon training, that is what I will focus on… getting to that distance. So that at least I can say I can run a 10k before I start training for a half.