March 5, 2012

who would have thought...

I believe I've said that phrase dozens of times in the last 6+ months or so.  Just over a year ago I was a relatively sedentary person with an unhealthy lifestyle and an unhappy outlook on life.  At this time last year, who would have thought...

... I'd run an entire 5k.
... I'd run an entire 10k (in under an hour!).
... I'd lose 30 pounds.
... I'd run a half marathon.
... I'd fall in love with running.

Crazy right?  Well at this time last year, when I was struggling desperately to hold a 12 minute mile pace... who would have thought that in just a year I'd be running a 5k in 25:16.

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But Saturday I did just that.  I smoked my goal I set at the beginning of the year, to finish a 5k in under 27 minutes.  Honestly two months ago that sounded almost out of reach for me.  But the more I run and the more I train, the more I surprise myself with what I can do.

This past Saturday I ran the Truffle Shuffle 5k, a small race at the local community college.  I almost didn't go.  As of Friday night I hadn't signed up, and we didn't go to bed until almost 11:30.  It was going to be chilly in the morning, and part of me just wanted to stick to my regular routine of hitting up the gym for the Saturday 50/50 class.  So I went to sleep planning on just that.  But I woke up at 6:40am Saturday morning, with a strong urge to do the 5k.  Christopher was stirring just a bit so I filled him in on the plan.  Poor guy.  I don't particularly like to go to races alone, so I hurried him and Ryann out the door by 7:30.

Let me tell you, it was WINDY.  Which made it incredibly COLD.  Thankfully the registration was indoors, so Chris and Ryann hung out in there until closer to when they thought I'd be finishing.  I did a little warm up jog, and then made my way to the start line.  I filed in behind a group of people wearing Garmins, figuring that I might be able to use them as my rabbit.  Pacing is one of my worst skills.  Finally I got up the nerve to ask how fast they were planning on going... 9:30's.  Well crap, that wouldn't work.  They shooed me to the front of the pack and said good luck.  My Garmin still isn't working, and my dumb phone wouldn't pick up the satellites, so I just had to gun it and pray I didn't go out too fast or too slow.

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she looks proud, right?  has nothing to do with she never wants to look at the camera :o)

I won't lie.  I felt like I was sprinting, and it was a little painful.  But I didn't feel like I was going to die, so I just kept pushing myself.  One foot in front of the other.  We turned a corner and then all of a sudden we turned onto a gravel road.  WHAT?  I was not expecting gravel.  My lungs were burning and I was ticked about the stupid gravel.  Really, it isn't that big of a deal, just something I wasn't planning on, you know?  Anyway, then I saw the 1 mile marker.  Lungs on fire, thighs on fire, two miles to go.  The entire second mile, and at a least half of the third were all on gravel.  When I finally hit pavement again I was so incredibly happy (not to mention it was a bit of a downhill and the last quarter mile, woot!).  Pretty much the entire third mile I was thinking I couldn't make it.  That I had gone out too fast and I wouldn't be able to finish at that speed.  I more or less argued with myself in my head for five minutes about whether or not to slow down.  But when I reached that last quarter mile I decided to go big or go home.

There was a girl who looked about my age not too far in front of me, so I decided to try and catch her.  Unfortunately she was just too fast and too far ahead, I couldn't quite get to her.  But it did give me a little distraction that last quarter mile.  As I was crossing the finish line I knew the clock read 25 minutes, but I didn't know how many seconds.  Chris told me not too many people finished before me.  I went back inside and grabbed part of a bagel and a banana, and a few minutes later noticed they had put out a print off of the current results.

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In the female 20-29 age group?  4th place baby.  Nothing that earned me a prize or anything, but I'll take it!  My name has NEVER been that close to the top of a race list before.  The website doesn't have overall stats, but there were 34 girls in my bracket, so I'm incredibly happy with fourth.  I'm a dork and added up all the females at the race, and I finished 14th out of 170.

And I quickly recovered (stopped feeling like I was going to hurl) so I know next time I can push myself just a touch harder.  I'm hoping to break that 25 minute mark.  Getting much under that doesn't seem plausible right now, but I'll never say never.  Just look at how far I've come in the last six months.

 

Don't ever stop reaching higher and dreaming bigger.  You never know what you might be capable of!

24 comments:

Amy said...

OMG so awesome!! You are truly an inspiration. Do you do all your speed training inside or do you have some tips for outdoor speed training? I REALLY want to work on my pace now that I have the running thing down. Not sure I can ever do a 5k in 25 though, sheesh!! Good job girl!

a happy mamma said...

that is pretty awesome girl! you definitely put hope in my mind that this running thing is possible. especially on days when i struggle just to complete my week 8 running with these dang shin splints! i still have to stop, but i know one day i will get there :) AWESOME job!

Jen@ADropintheBucket said...

That is AWESOME! You are getting me excited for my husband to get back home so I can get out and run next week!!

Amy said...

amazing job! congratulations!

Nicole said...

So happy for you, Ashley! You have a lot to be proud of this past year!

I'm running a 5K next month - Rock the Parkway - and am hoping for a PR but like you, don't want to feel like I'm sprinting/hurting the entire time. The last time I ran a 5K I was at the very beginning of my half marathon training and was pretty out of shape. Hopefully it won't be hard to beat that time.

Congrats!

Jessie said...

Congrats! Even though I'm not a runner, I find you such an inspiration to get myself back in shape! Keep it up girl!

The Bignon Family said...

Congrats!!! Way to kick butt!!!

Erin said...

WAY TO GO! I love this post, because those 5 things you listed at the top? Are all goals I want to reach in the next 5 months...except I'd be happy with a 20-25 lb weight loss.

You ROCKED IT, MAMA!

Meredith said...

4th is AMAZING!

I'm so impressed with how you've fallen in love with running! I still can't ever picture loving to run, lol!

Genevieve said...

Way to go!! I am always so impressed with you, you are such an inspiration! Love the family race photos too. :)

Lynsey said...

Great job!! Very impressive and inspiring! Question.. what kind of earphones do you run with?

Valerie said...

This post really inspired me! I just started a C25K program a few weeks ago and have not been very motivated lately because I am definitely not a runner. Congrats on completed & go beyond your goal! & Thanks for the kick in the butt!

Ashley said...

Amy- For the most part I do any structured speed work inside, but you can definitely do things outside as well. If you wear a garmin or have something that tells distance and pace you can do intervals and things like that. If you aren't wearing some sort of monitoring device you can look at, it can be as easy as saying I'm going to push myself harder than usual for the next block, or two blocks, then going back down to your normal pace. You are just trying to train your body to not hate the faster pace :). I'm not an expert though, I suggest googling tempo runs and speed work. You'll find helpful info!

Ashley said...

Lynsey- I can't say I love my earphones, but I've liked them more than earbuds. They are by Sony...http://www.amazon.com/Sony-MDRQ22LP-Ear-Clip/dp/B00008VIX2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1330976510&sr=8-1.

I also have a pair of $6 ones that are similar that I found at Walmart (I can't remember the brand) that work about the same. Sometimes they flop around on my ears, and the right one seems to fall off more than the left, but they have been completely fine in the winter with my ear warmer on :).

Amber E. said...

Go you! That's awesome!

Baby Mama said...

That is awesome! Congratulations!

Tammy said...

WOW, great job! You really ARE an inspiration!!

Melissa said...

First off, GREAT JOB! I keep up with your posts and you are such an inspiration. I have been struggling with weight loss and exercise, but keep getting motivated when reading your blog.I am setting a goal to register for the Color Run this summer, and hope that I can manage to enjoy running like you do! Thanks!

Second, where did you purchase your iphone/ipod arm band? I have tried to find a good one, but I have to say they aren't very fashionable.

Kristin {Sea Cow Circus} said...

Way to go! Awesome time! :)

Former Fat Bride said...

GREAT job!! How awesome. I had the biggest smile on my face reading this!

amy@agoodlife said...

congrats on a new pr!! that is awesome. quit making me miss running when i have a lonnnnng break ahead of me from it :P

Amber said...

COngrats on such amazing things! You are such an awesome inspiration!

Mandy@ a sorta fairytale said...

Congrats on all your your accomplishments!! That's so awesome. I've always wanted to get into running, but I really hate it. And.... I have tendonitis in my knees so that doesn't help at all. Ugh. But truly, you are an inspiration!

sarah @ life {sweet} life said...

That is AWESOME!! Congrats - you're a total rock star!! Ry looks super proud of you too. :)