I have been doing the Mini Marathon almost every year with my good friend Clare since 2005. We have only missed 2 years, one when I was out of the country and the other when it was only 2 weeks after my friend had her baby. We haven't always run it, but we do always complete the whole 10k! Its our tradition and its around that time that we'd have to sign up. Going back a couple of months I had big running plans for 2014 but then the Movember 10k happened. I had a panic attack at the 3km point and ever since then I have been terrified to go out running. I'm not even sure why it got to me so bad, I have had panic/anxiety attacks in the past but they have never got in the way of my day to day life. I have tried to put it to the back of my mind and forget about it, but in doing so I also pushed all thoughts of running away. A few friends of mine are signing up for the Great Ireland Run in April (which I did last year) and I was asked to sign up. Instead of going for it, or even explaining why I couldn't, I just ignored it and pushed it all to the back of my mind.
The past few weeks its been pushing back, and I think its the Mini Marathon that is pushing back! Even with that its taken me a few weeks to do something about it but I finally have. I signed up for a sub 60minute 10k training program with Run Keeper. Doing 10k in less than 60 minutes has been a goal of mine for years that I have never quite reached and I really want to hit this milestone. The program is 16 weeks long so it finishes a week or 2 after the mini marathon. I am ok with that as the crowds at the mini marathon do not make it ideal for getting a decent time. What I do want to get out of this is to get back into my running stride and completely get over my fear. Once I can do that I can think about actual achieving my goal.
Today was day one of the 16 weeks, and I decided I was going to try running before work on the weekdays. I know that when I get home in the evening I really like my time. I like to take time cooking something tasty and having a bit of chill out time to blog or read or watch TV. To throw a run into that mix leaves you with very little relaxation time. I mean its possible to do, but not ideal. Also if I woke up and decided not to go out, I still had the evening to redeem myself. So with that in mind I had an early night last night, left my jogging gear ready to go and set my alarm for 5:50am....and I actually got up!
It was cold and dark but out I went ready to get my 3.2k over with. It was a small start but I was glad of that. The 10k programs assume a certain level of fitness and there was a certain fear that I wasn't even going to be able for 3.2k. To my absolute relief I finished my 3.2k and while I didn't find it easy I have the confidence that I will be ok with Thursdays 4.8k! It is also amazing to get home from work knowing I can just relax and cook a delicious cottage pie for dinner. I feel productive and good and am almost looking forward to getting up early on Thursday and doing this again. I'm not putting any pressure on myself, just taking it one run at a time and see how things go until June!