Thank you guys SO much for all the encouragement on my last post about running my first 5k race. I can’t tell you how much your comments mean to me, and how helpful your advice is. With an extra boost of confidence from you guys and a major dose of encouragement from Josh and my parents (who had to listen to me voice my fears about running outside for a good 24 hours) I laced up my shoes, got in the car, and drove to the Riverwalk in my town. If I’m going to be running a 5k race next week I need to get out on the pavement between now and then.
The first time these shoes have seen pavement other than a parking lot. The trail is a 3 mile paved area that goes from my town, South Williamsport, over a bridge to Williamsport, then over another bridge back to South Williamsport again. I had no idea what to expect and I was seriously nervous I would start to run and my legs would be like, “Pavement, what’s this? No thank you.” Either that or I wouldn’t be able to pace myself at all and end up winded and walking within two minutes.
Well I got on the pavement and started running and the most incredible thing happened; I could keep running!! It felt just like it did on the treadmill, I ran what felt comfortable to me (and it ended up being around the speed I’ve been running on the treadmill), and the hills leading up to and over the bridges (pretty steep hills!) were no problem because my legs have done it before running incline on the treadmill. The view was so beautiful, I found I couldn’t stop looking around.
It felt so nice to have the sun on my face and a cool breeze in the air. I loved getting to run by the water. Everyone else on the trail was so nice and always took the time to smile, wave, and say hello. There were also a lot of dogs on walks and they were all so cute! It was hard to keep myself from stopping to go pet them.
I totally get why people love outdoor running. I never think I’ll be a run in the rain, or in the snow, or in the extreme heat kind of girl. Running on a beautiful fall or spring day though? Absolutely! I’ll definitely be spending a lot less time on the treadmill this fall. I wish I could have taken a picture of the bridges for you and how awesome the trails on them are, they are wide and paved and have a wall separating them from the highway. But I only took pictures on my phone when I was on my minute speed walk breaks (I took 3) and I vowed to run up and down both bridges.
I finished the run feeling so victorious, completing the run (.107 less than a full 5k) in 33 minutes and 47 seconds. I know that is slow for a lot of people but that is FAST for me! I run a 5k on the treadmill in 39 minutes. I’m a little nervous I did the calculating wrong or something since I don’t have a sports watch I set the timer on my phone since that is such a jump in time. But when I run on the treadmill at a speed of 5.5 I always feel like I can be moving a little quicker so maybe my body could finally do that out on the open road. Regardless of my time I’m just SO happy I could do it. I’ll find out my real time next Friday at the race, it’s really not what’s important to me about running. When I finished the run I felt on top of the world. I freaking did it!
This song kept playing in my head as I jumped and danced around. (Warning if you’re at work, there’s profanity in this song.)
I was so proud as I ran. Two months ago, this run never would have been possible. Even more importantly, I never would have enjoyed it. It’s crazy what you can accomplish when you put your mind to it and put in the time. And to all my treadmill people, please don’t worry like I did. What you can do on a treadmill you can do outside if you ever wish to, it’s still real running. I was so happy to validate to myself that treadmill running trains you exactly like outdoor running does. I know when winter comes around my new love of running outdoors will have to be put on hold for a while. Until then, I’m going to try and run outside as much as I can!
Question of the Day: Do you prefer running outdoors or inside? Do you find you run differently when you’re inside or outside?