Wednesday, May 9, 2012

This penguin ain't tryin' to be a gazelle

I haven't been running as much as I want to or should be lately in order to train for the 10Kato. But when I do, I've been seeking out hills to tackle just to see how it goes. And actually, it's been OK.

I've sort of found that a hill is a mental assassin more than a physical one. It's difficult, of course, to reach the top. But once you're up there, your heart rate starts to decrease and you feel fine again within a minute.

I came to this conclusion during the Girls on the Run 5K. I didn't know when I started the race that there would be hills. Four of them. And my way of dealing with it was to stare at my feet and just keep running until I felt the relief of going downhill again. It really worked, actually. So I figured maybe hills weren't that bad.

The point of this post is two-fold. The first is this: If you're a newbie runner and you haven't run a race yet, I would so encourage you to do it. The feeling of reaching that finish line -- even if you've run that same distance numerous times before -- is really incredible. Because for most of us newbies, the idea of any kind of running finish line was out of the question until quite recently when we started running and surprised the hell out of ourselves for being able to run longer than, say, a block or two. That first race is symbolic. Feels amazing. I'm so glad I did it.

My second point: Leading up to Girls on the Run, the stress really ruined running for me. I had a cold, and I was worried about letting people down. I was worried about letting myself down by not performing well. And ever since Girls on the Run, my morning jogs have been relaxing again. I have nothing to prove to anyone. I run because I like to run. And with the 10Kato looming on the horizon, I'm starting to feel that anxiety creep in again.

I realize no one would be watching me run the 10Kato. I realize nobody in the world cares if I walk even, like, half of it. But, folks, I'm not ready. I've never run six miles. I've tackled small hills, but certainly not hills as challenging as the two-mile trek up Glenwood. I know myself, and if I attempt the 10Kato and do poorly, I'm going to feel bad. And I don't want to be disappointed.

I'm thinking fall will be a better time for my first 10K. I do want to do one. But just one. And not right now. I'm not a race person. So I'm going to bow out of 10Kato and just enjoy a summer of easy morning slogging.


  1. Were the hills the Main Street Hill and the Monks Ave hill from Glenwood Ave two of the four? They are both pretty steep.

  2. Hi Janet. I'm actually not sure. I've only spoken to previous 10Katoers who told me of the two miles uphill. This year the uphill portion is at the beginning somehow. In previous years it came at the end. I'm not sure which would be worse: tiring yourself immediately and then having to run four more miles, or having that last killer portion looming on the horizon.