Three years ago I ran my first 5k.
I had tried picking up running again off and on in the couple of years before but usually ended up shutting down with knee or ankle problems. I decided after having lap band surgery to wait until I had lost enough wait before starting to run. The funny thing is that around the time I was starting the Couch 2 5K, complications meant I had to have the lapband removed and I was back at square one, but I was at a place where I could start running at least.
I did my first Cherry Creek Sneak then. I remember being so amazed I could run that far. They have a 10 mile option and I thought, no way I would ever be able to do that.
The next year I walked it. The year after that, I alternated running and walking. I started wondering if I totally lost everything I had gained from that run 3 years ago. Then of course, the whole half marathon training that started this blog, and here I am, Cherry Creek Sneak weekend again.
And. It. Was. Awesome.
Okay, weatherwise, not so much. The best thing about the Sneak is the block party afterwards. It was too cold and wet. They always have a lot of people giving out swag and we always get these race bags. This year something has changed with the race. The lead up to it was different – they quit giving out the bags, and even the atomosphere seemed different. Now that one could very well be weather related. When it’s cold and raining people tend to hide under awnings until the race starts, then bug out afterwards.
But running it this year… was easy. I got my best time. Better yet, every mile improved. Substantially. The first mile was 13:40. I was actually kind of happy with that just as slowly as I’ve been running – but part of that slow start also has to do with as packed as it is it just always starts slow, weaving around people and all. Mile two was 13:15. Nearly a half minute. What amazed me though was mile 3 was 12:45. Almost a full minute off the first mile.
Usually when it’s done, I’m shot for the day. I stumble, I crawl, rigor mortis sets in.
This year, it was just a 3 mile run.
Three years ago I never would have expected to say that.
This year I was thinking I should have done the 10 miler. I did the 5k just because it’s become a sort of tradition. And, I wanted to see how I would do.
So to some extent it feels like a graduation of sorts. I’ve gotten to where the 5K is pretty simple. For a guy like me who has been where I have been, that’s huge. Really huge.
In three weeks, the Colfax half marathon. A week later than that the Boulder Bolder. Not sure that running a 10K a week after a half is a great idea, unless I’m just treating the half as a training run and not a race. So then it’s just a cut back on the long run.
Hope that’s not a terrible idea. We’ll find out.
Right now I’m just really happy to be at this point where the 5K was… fairly easily accomplished. Especially to run it out at the end with a good kick. THAT was an awesome feeling.
But even though I’ve graduated, I also have to remember what happened in the two years following my first 5K. I don’t want to get back to that.