July 8, 2013 marked the official start of my Dublin half marathon training; at which point in time I could barely run a mile without stopping. After a 12 week training program, a lot of motivation from my running group, and loads of support from my friends, I was able to run a mile, easily. I certainly wasn’t fast, at an average 12 minute mile for the half and the best average I had on any training run (a short one!) was probably around 10:45.
Having been a gymnast and a sprinter, I never thought distance running was something I could physically do – at least not continuously for 13.1 miles. Now, I still haven’t continuously run 13.1 miles, but I’ve proven to myself time and time again that I CAN be a distance runner, because a mile is a mile, no matter how fast or slow.
And now, here we are a little over a year later, and I’ve surprised myself yet again! Now, not only am I a distance runner, I’m a distance runner who’s knocked crazy time off her runs – proving to myself that anything is possible with a little dedication and a lot of practice.
You know what? I can run a mile. I can run 7 miles in just over an hour. (My watch was being dumb and had issues finding satellites, so add approx 3.5 minutes and another .38 miles because I actually did just over 7 total that day)
This run was on a rather warm & sunny summer day in Dublin. I started from my office in Ballsbridge and ran down Merrion road to Booterstown Park. It was a simply gorgeous day and the Irish Sea happened to be in my favour!
At one point along the journey I realised how happy I was; how much energy I had; how amazing I felt. And that was around the five-mile mark! Who knew a year ago, when I started my journey that I wouldn’t hate myself after 5 miles; that I could still have energy and motivation to keep going, even on one of the hottest days of the year in the mid-day sun, sans water bottle!
This was about the same time I was headed back towards my office on the Sandymount Strand, when the random fog started rolling in. It was almost like it was raining it was so thick. And the wind was blowing something fierce and you could feel the sea and the salt in your hair and it was even more motivating! (The photo really doesn’t do it justice, but just ahead of me in the picture you can’t see ANYTHING. It really just looks like a cloudy day here….)
When I sat out on this run, my goal was actually only five miles. I ended up taking a wrong turn and making a rough 1.5 mile loop and ended the day just over 7 miles. And with the views that day, this is about as close to Seventh Heaven as you can possibly get! Keep on running friends. Runners’ High is a real and honest thing and I hope each and every one of you know what I’m talking about at some point in your life (be it after 1 mile or 15!).
Until next time: XOXO – K
**Sidebar: I’m not sure I deserve such amazing followers I just sat down in front of the computer to write for the first time in what I’m now realising has been almost 45 days. YIKES. And you are STILL reading my blog? Please, high-five yourselves right now. And do it again, just one more time. You are amazing. (No excuses, because the why’s are a topic for another day!)**