I ran with my trail running group at Sprague Brook Park earlier this month. A young first timer joined us and showed a remarkable affinity for running trails. It was a good day for everyone. A couple of days later, that young life was lost. His step-mother, my running friend, told me she was glad she had that last good day with him.
Much has happened in the 6 months since I started my running journey. I had a scare with a knee injury early on. Thankfully it turned out to be just a minor setback. After completing Fleet Feet’s Learn to 5k program, I began preparing for their 2.0 program which trains runners for distances of up to 5 miles. By the time the program started, I was already running 5 miles comfortably, so I decided to move up to 3.0 instead and we worked toward an 8 mile goal. My knee pain still kicks in from time to time at the longer distances, but I’ve learned to keep an eye on it and apply preventative measures.
My current distance PR is 8.6 miles and my fastest 5k pace is around 9:15. Since starting, I’ve run in 4 races including a half marathon relay. I’ve discovered the joy of trail running, conquered my fear of running in cold weather, and I’ve learned a lot about myself and about life in general.
I hemmed and hawed about what to do next and I’ve finally decided to sign up for Fleet Feet’s HFM program which consists of various training levels that prepare runners for Half and Full marathon races. The program begins next week. I’ll be starting at the beginner level and my goal is to run the Buffalo Half in May. Unfortunately, I have a lot of work travel coming up in the next few weeks, which means I’ll miss out on some training, but I’m determined to stay on track.
When you’re new to something like running there are a hundred firsts to look forward to and to celebrate when you achieve them, through challenges, setbacks and all. I am extremely grateful to those close to me who have supported me and who are truly happy for my joy.