Like a lot of people at the beginning of the great 2020 Corona quarantine, I dabbled in various new hobbies … yoga, making bread. And I also “got serious” about running again. I made it my goal to run a sub-20 minute 5K when I turn 50 (in 2021), and I even started YouTube’ing my exploits. Predictably, like a lot of people, I slowly lost interest in the endeavors. Well, not strictly true, as I ran pretty consistently through Thanksgiving of last year, even pumping out a 5K time trial on my 49th birthday.
Alas, as has been the case ever since I’ve lived in Colorado, the dark Winter waylaid any momentum I had with my running. I went from roughly 40 miles per week in September and October to Zero miles per week by the end of the year. I always tell myself I will just pick it back up in the New Year, but it is always much harder to do so than I expect. Getting older doesn’t help. The holiday weight I gain seems harder to lose, the discipline to train harder to gain.
So I often set little mini goals and training blocks for myself. Something like, “I’ll average 2 miles per day in January, 3 miles in February, 4 miles in March…” Or, “I’ll time trial a 5K every month on the 25th”. Sometimes they last a few weeks, but usually snowboarding or injury, or both, gets in the way. I make excuses around snowboarding … “well, I need to rest the day before and the day after I ride, so no running for 3 days.” Or, “I tweaked my foot riding the other day, so I can’t run this week.”
Lots of excuses.
I still have my goal of running that 5K under twenty minutes on my birthday this year (or after, it’s fine). I think I can do it, but I need to get much more serious, and probably train with a group. It’s a fine line though, I can’t go too hard and burn out or get injured, but I can’t rely on youthful fitness anymore to get me to the finish line.
So I’ve been taking slow this year. I’ve probably only averaged 10 miles per week in 2021, which plain isn’t good enough. I ran a 5k time trial on January 25, and actually ran better than expected (23:20), but I’m still a minute per mile away from where I need to be.
When I started this pursuit last Spring, I thought reaching my goal would be straightforward, easy even. At the time, I thought I needed to hold back so that I didn’t reach my goal too soon. I misjudged. But I still think I can get there, it’ll just be harder than I thought.