Last year I started running to release stress and lose some flab.
As soon as I felt the stress monster catching up to me I’d slip into my running clothes/superhero costume and kick it’s ass on the pavement. I didn’t have any routines, no technique — no goals other than to come back home with a a sweat soaked t-shirt and a peaceful mind.
But as I improved I decided to sign up for a 10k race. Just to try. To prepare I started running more often and harder, determined to at least make it to the finish without walking.
And I did. In my first ever 10k I crossed the finish line at 1:04. OK, I can hear some of you laughing at my time, but I was proud of it, and even shed a couple of tears at the finish line.
After that experience the race devil got into me and I started thinking about speed. We all want to run faster, right? I thought that if I just ran more I’d automatically get faster.
So instead of running only two times a week I started running four times, and soon I did a 10k in 58 minutes. That encouraged me to sign up for a 16k and then a half marathon. But after that initial rush I realized I wasn’t getting any better.
I had hit the wall.
I could run farther, yes, but no matter how much I ran I couldn’t get my 10k time down to under 58 minutes. I was so frustrated I wanted to eat my running shoes.
That frustration made me to build a plan to run much faster. I had to do it under 58. During the six weeks I had to train I added a strength routine and 5am sprints (goodbye beauty sleep, hello zombie face). I stuffed my face with extra protein to handle the extra work. I stopped drinking alcohol and tried (well, I tried) to eat less sugar. The training worked — in the fifth week and finished a 10k in 54:54. Not bad. But I could do better, so I adjusted my goal time to under 53min.
Race day. I pressed play on my playlist and started running. I listened to my speed each km and pushed myself to keep the same pace during the whole race. It was hard. Extremely hard — the last km I was ready collapse on the asphalt and have my lifeless body taken to it’s final resting place.
But I did it. When I crossed the finish line and looked at my time I couldn’t believe it — 51:22. I felt like a fucking Kenyan!
I´m high on running. So high (or insane/stupid?) that this weekend I’ll start training for my first marathon. Hello 5am runs. Hello zombie face. Game on.