An important update

So in March I wrote a post back on my own blog that resonated with lots of people, it was about my embarrassment of the Presidential Fitness Test each year, specifically the mile run.  You can read it here, don’t worry I’ll wait….

Caught up?  Good.  So writing that post confirmed what I’ve known all along, that I have to take on the mile run.  Not just walk a mile, or jog part of it, but a complete run-the-whole-time mile.  Even as I vowed that this would be the year I took it on, honestly I didn’t believe I could do it.  Despite losing 50 lbs I still had a hard time running more than 2 minutes at a time.  Imagining running a quarter of a mile at one time seemed like a stretch, how could I run a complete mile?

Still I have been working out 4-6 times a week for 5 months and I’ve lost a significant amount of weight.  I have a long way to go yes, but I’ve made big strides.  And today I made another one.

Today, motivated by a weekend lack of workouts and some not-great eating choices I bit the bullet and signed up for my first 5k of the season.  I had plans to meet Mr. Goat for a workout before dinner so as I headed to the gym I figured I should dive back into Couch to 5k or something and get to training.  I have just over a month until this 5k after all.  I didn’t anticipate I could run the whole thing, but I wanted to get some better times and longer runs in before the race.

So tonight I hopped on a treadmill to do a walk/run workout.

I walked for 5 minutes as a warm up at a 3.7 pace, then I said to myself – it is time to run.  Ann had given me some running advice a few weeks earlier.  She mentioned that the first mile she ever ran was at a very slow pace – 4.0. It was a pace she could jog or she could walk.  Ever since I’d been trying to run at 4.0 or a 15 minute mile pace.  I still couldn’t last past two minutes, but I could get back to running sooner at that rate.

I set my treadmill to 4.0 and began to jog.  My goal was to two minutes.  After two minutes I though to myself, “I can get to 3 minutes.” After three minutes I thought, “I wonder if I can get to a quarter mile?”  At a quarter mile I figured I was nearly to 5 minutes so I should keep pushing to that and then I could stop.  Well at 5 minutes it was a third of a mile, the most I’d ever run consecutively before.

At 5 minutes I also felt like maybe I had a bit more and maybe I could get to a half mile.  That would be a great big victory for me.

I kept on jogging.

I’m at a 4.0 minute pace so it isn’t fast, but before I know it I’ve hit the seven and a half minutes for the half mile.  But 7.5 minutes is nearly 10 minutes, or so I told myself, and I kept running.

At 10 minutes I realized I was at 2/3 of a mile.  I’d easily blown past my 2.5 minute longest run length and I was feeling it, but I was also feeling elated.  “Perhaps I might be able to conquer a mile this summer,”  I thought.

And then a small but persistent voice in my head said:

“Why not today?”

And I kept running.

11 minutes.

12 minutes.

13 minutes.

At this point I am nearing my breaking point, but I also knew that I could run for two minutes straight – it was my old record after all.

14 minutes.

It is getting hard.  My breathing is hard.  Sweat is dripping into my eyes.  I want to stop, but I also want to finish this.  I want to destroy this mile, for the first time ever.

At 30 seconds left I know I can make it, I’m tempted to speed up but I don’t’ want to break my stride, so I keep jogging.

Until 15 minutes of running past me by.

Then I slowed to a walk.  I wonder now if I could have kept running, but I was in such shock over completing something that I felt was impossible for so many years was overwhelming.  The mile was a milestone (ha) that I never thought I could reach, despite my best intentions, but today, without any plan to do so at the beginning of my workout, I ran my first complete mile.

Today I ran for 15 minutes straight.  I ran a mile.  Me, a fatgirl, soon to be a priorfatgirl, I ran.

(I’d smile bigger here but I was sort of in shock)

I know that this might not seem like a lot of people for whom running or exercise has always come naturally, but for me this is the biggest exercise victory I’ve EVER had.  I RAN MY FIRST MILE WITHOUT STOPPING.

And you know what, I don’t think it will be my last.

Comments

  1. Woo hoo!! Congratulations, Liz, that is outstanding!

    The best sentence of that post was “I want to destroy this mile, for the first time ever.”

    I think there’s a secret runner hound in you!

  2. CONGRATULATIONS!!! I generally bargain with myself the same way – Oh, I have 3 minutes left in this interval, I can run for 3 minutes. 3 minutes is easy. Sometimes it’s the only thing that has gotten me through the 20+ minute intervals. This is a huge thing and you should be so super proud of yourself. I know I am proud and excited for you!

  3. Wow Liz! Congratulations! That is a huge victory!

  4. When i was reading your blog i thought wow! there’s somebody out there thinking the same thing, like i do.. every step/ jog of the way! So very proud of you!! thanks for sharing your story.
    Mandy from Kansas-

  5. Hi Liz, I just wanted to let you know I read this yesterday and today I got on the treadmill to do my usual running. The most I’ve ever ran was 5 minutes straight before. I read this and knew I wanted to try to run a mile, just to see if I could. I think part of what motivated me was that you run at the same pace I do, maybe even a little faster. I’m 5 feet 1 inch tall, so 3.7 for me is a really fast stride and 4.0 is jogging. Anyway, guess what?! I DID IT! I ran a mile today, because you inspired me!! I’ve never ran a mile ever in my life, well not in a row anyway lol. Keep up the good work, and thanks for being such an inspiration!

  6. I never could run the mile in gym class, either. A few months ago, I ran a half marathon. It just goes to show that sometimes, we can exceed our limitations so wildly. I hope you’re flying high on your accomplishment–you should be!

  7. Amazing job! You inspired me 🙂 So far, the longest I’ve been able to run is about 4 minutes on the treadmill and all I want is to be able to run a mile. You give me so much hope that I can do it too!

  8. Yay!!!

  9. That is just awesome and made me want to cry. Or maybe my eyes are just watering because of my headcold. Whatever. Very proud of you and I will do it too one day!

  10. Congratulations, Liz. This post really hit home for me, because I’m attempting to do the C25K myself right now — and I’ve been struggling with the 5-minute jogs.

    Tomorrow morning, I have 8 minutes of running on the schedule. Gulp. We’ll see how it goes.

  11. That is so awesome! I really enjoy reading all your blog comments. You are always so optomistic and positive. Keep up the inspiration!

  12. that’s awesome! Congratulations!!! I ran my first mile awhile ago…and had a very similar experience. at one point in time you just tell yourself to keep…on…going…!!!

    you should be PROUD!!!

    HIGH FIVE TO YOU!

  13. I didn’t read this post until last night. This morning when I went for my run (3.5 miles divided into 6 intervals), I told myself if you can run a mile so can I! And I did. For the first time ever I didn’t walk for an entire mile. Thank you for being an inspiration! You’re doing great! Now when you go to do it again, you can’t tell yourself to stop because you already know you can do it. 🙂

  14. Congratulations!! That is one amazing achievement, you should be so proud 😀

  15. I love this speech by Will Smith and think of it often while I am running and that voice comes into my head. This is such a great accomplishment. What 5k did you decide on?? Also, If you are interested I have some XL workout wear that I can give to you as you shrink down. Let me know. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEMEBBwO6J8

    • Wow, I hadn’t heard that before. I love it. I am doing the Color Run 5k in July. I’m also looking at one on Labor Day and the Woman’s Run at the end of October. I’d love the clothes when I get there…still a ways to go! 🙂

      • The color run looks great. At your pace of weightloss you will be ready for them in a few short months. They are really perfect for fall workouts anyway as they are mostly longer pants and capris. I’ll tuck them away for you.

  16. Diane Wang says:

    I rarely post but I wanted to tell you how awesome it is that you ran a mile. I am at the very beginning of that road and can barely run for 1 minute. The thought of a mile is daunting. Yet, hearing how you pushed through and did it made me feel better. We all start somewhere and I am so proud of you. Keep it up! Soon you’ll be running a marathon! 🙂 HUGS

  17. Vanessa says:

    So impressive! Something I’m working towards too but there are times it feels like I will never get there. I’m inspired by your success to keep at it!

Trackbacks

  1. […] was so strange.  I’ve been riding high from my MILE RUN since Monday to the point that I wasn’t really concerned with the scale this week.  Sure I […]

  2. […] you haven’t already, click over to congratulate Liz on running her 1st mile ever! I am SO PROUD of her and the progress she’s made over the past […]

Speak Your Mind

*