Endurance Riding

Mar 09 2013

Cross-Training: My First 5K

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One week ago I ran my first 5K. I have never been a runner. I hated running. In high school, I was a swimmer. And I had no desire to do track and field. EVER.

After the New Year, even though I had been going to the gym, I decided I had to incorporate running into my cross-training in preparation for Tevis. I put a star on the resolution board at the gym that declares “I am going to be just as fit as my horse.” I decided to sign up for a 5K because I knew if I had a goal, it would cause me to purposefully and more seriously train. Sounded good, right?

The first 4-6 weeks of training were brutal. At first, I couldn’t even run a mile. Then, when I pushed myself and got to that mile mark, I felt nauseous, dizzy, and faint all at once. My lungs felt like they were on fire inside my chest. I remember telling Gary I didn’t think I could do it. Maybe I just wasn’t meant to be a runner.

I can’t tell you exactly what happened, but somewhere between that 4th and 6th week, I had pushed through this wall. I could suddenly run a mile and not feel like I was going to fall off the back of the treadmill. And then I did a mile and a quarter, a mile and a half, and then it just got fun to see how far I could go. It was just fun to see how far I could push it.

On March 2nd, one day after my 31st birthday, I was lined up for the start of the Bidwell Classic 5K. I had woken up late that morning and almost didn’t make it to the race. I didn’t have time to stretch. I had been yelled at by a fellow runner when I (unknowingly) cut in line at the bathrooms. I was stressed out and about to cry, wondering, again, if maybe I just wasn’t meant to be a runner.

And then it was time to run. And I ran. One foot in front of the other. One foot in front of the other. One foot in front of the other…

When I crossed the finish line, I learned that I had run an almost 10-minute mile average, with a finishing time of 32.53.9 (that’s just shy of 32 minutes, 54 seconds). I didn’t cry. I didn’t scream. I didn’t high-five. I didn’t even smile, at first. I put one foot in front of the other and just kept on walking. And on that walk, I learned something about myself: I can do it.

You can do it. When you believe that, you will be empowered. You can do it. Anything is possible.

cross-training for endurance riding

The look of surprise after my husband, Gary, told me my finishing time.

cross-training for endurance riding

Oranges never tasted so good.

cross-training for endurance riding

My beautiful children, who are always cheering me on. Jakob will be running with me at my next 5K.



2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Cross-Training: My First 5K”

  1. Ann Byrnson 11 Mar 2013 at 10:42 pm

    Congrats on breaking through that wall! Funny how you were a swimmer and I never have been very good at that–but I was the only girl on the boy’s track team when I was 10 yrs. old! Still, I KNOW we are related, since I watched your birth. Love, Mom

  2. JayaMaeon 07 Apr 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Thanks, Mom! Maybe I inherited your running skills?!? LOL. By the way, I just happened to see the official race results from the Bidwell Classic… my chip time was 32.07… so I was actually several seconds faster than I originally thought when I wrote this blog post!

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