We're so close to the end of our eight-week journey! Whether you're comfortable running a marathon now or you're still trying to hit your stride walking a 5K, you've all made so much progress during this Strong Together season. You've set yourself up for success by committing to trying a healthier lifestyle and you've inspired the women around you to do the same. You should all be proud of the progress you've made. Here's what our bloggers have to say this week:
From Georgeanna: Having runs half marathon in November, a 5K shouldn't seem like much of a challenge to me. But, after dealing with a knee injury and being cooped up all winter, it's been like starting over for me. This 5K is like running my first one again.
Having to take time off after the half marathon due to the knee issue, I completely stopped running. I have still worked out, but with minimal running. So, training for this 5K was really a new beginning. And my progress has been slow. But, progress is progress! And it feels really great to run again.
I am still running on intervals. Two minutes of running, one minute of walking. It works for me and allows my knee a little rest during my runs. I have also been working with a friend who will run the Redbud Classic with me. She has not run in years, so it's fun to help someone challenge themselves and to see her progress.
While having a knee issue is frustrating sometimes, I love having the motivation of an upcoming race to keep me pushing myself. And while my progress is not coming in leaps and bounds, every time I run, it feels good. So my progress might be in baby steps, all that matters to me is that I'm getting better.
From Courtney: 3.75 miles. From Whole Foods in Oklahoma City to just a “smidgen” beyond the Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club in Nichols Hills along Grand Avenue and back. That was the route I ran last Saturday with our group. That smidgen Coach Sara casually mentioned as she urged us to start amounted to nearly a mile more than the scheduled three miles dictated by the training schedule. I wasn’t prepared for that!
Of course, I didn’t learn this until I completed the run. Just before completion, she passed me and casually encouraged me to “finish strong” despite the wide hill that sat lazily between the finish line and me.
That run, hill included, amounted to a personal best before most brewed their Saturday coffee. I had to dig deep to finish strong. My legs felt locked up. The increased body temperature Sara assured me I’d feel on the return was absent. The power churned from my glutes, but that power came with a price. My lungs wanted a timeout.
When I arrived, I looked at my app and unlike in the movies, I actually believed the number of miles it displayed. I battled myself for each one.
My progress during this journey makes me excited me for all that’s ahead. Each time I finish a run, I enjoy the sweet satisfaction of runner’s high. I’m proud of my commitment. I can’t wait to challenge myself to go farther and faster. It’s a feeling that is starkly contrasted with the doubt and disappointment I felt weeks ago. I’ve stopped focusing as much on how my body looks. I’ve starting focusing about how it performs when I’m running. That is true progress.
From Kristyn: Yesterday I was driving past Waterford Plaza and noticed that the three larger-than-life bronze ladies by the pond are already decked out in their Redbud gear. The annual signal to everyone that something big is about to happen in Nichols Hills, rain or shine!
With April 12th right around the corner, I’m feeling confident about my training and that I’m prepared for the race. Now my thoughts have shifted a bit toward weather watching. Everyone knows that our weather can be unpredictable but it seems to always be particularly fussy for the Redbud. It might be cold, windy, or raining and unless there is lightning nearby, the race will go on rain or shine. No wonder it used to have the nickname Windbud! Last year’s race could have brought back the name Windbud for sure! It was one of those bitter cold and windy, rainy Oklahoma days.
Next week, we’ll all head to the Redbud office to pick up our shirts and packets. We’ll be all decked out like the bronze ladies at the Waterford Pond. But we also need to keep an eye on the forecast. If it’s cold, plan on wearing layers under your race shirt. If they are warning of rain, pick up a cheap plastic poncho or cut holes in a large trash bag. No matter what the weather has in store for race day this year, it will be great if we are all prepared!