The 7 things I learned running 13 5K's in one year
It all started with a goal. Run 12 5K’s in one year. As a former college volleyball player and three sport athlete in high school, exercise was always just a planned event. There was never any work on my part in planning except to show up and perform. All of my sports were also very anaerobic in nature, volleyball, basketball, and track & field (I high jumped and ran sprints). Fast forward to my adult life and I had neglected my physical fitness. With a full-time job, a part-time job, a full-time mom and wife, and house keeper and chef…where was there time to exercise?
I then enrolled in the Bulletproof Career Rebellion course, which is a 6-week online course that helps you create your ideal career. I initially did it as a favor for my friends because they were developing this course and needed some feedback. But, what I didn’t know at the time was, I really needed their course. I was floundering in my career and trying to balance all that life had to offer. I wasn’t burned out…yet…but, I was on a path that was taking me there quickly. I kind of felt like I was just going through the motions, but barely keeping my head above water at the same time. You ever feel that way?
There were several really beneficial exercises that Phil and Jenna ask you to participate in during the course which help you towards building your ideal career. One major area of neglect for me was my health and physical fitness. I was working and trying to keep up with my family but was doing nothing to replenish my energy levels. During one of the week’s, we were challenged to write goals for the year in all major categories (sleep, fitness, learning, spiritual, and relationships). I had tried many times over the years to become a runner. Runners that I have treated all spout about the “runner’s high.” My mom runs all the time and becomes very sad when she has to go without it for any length of time. It takes little to no equipment or other people to accomplish as well as can take as little as 20-30 minutes a day. It has to be the perfect solution, right? I have tried multiple times before to become a consistent runner and it just never happened. So, this time I was dead set on figuring out a way to become the runner I wanted to be…so I wrote the goal to complete 12 5K races in one year. I am happy to say that I not only accomplished this goal in 2018, but surpassed it by actually running 13 5K’s. Yay!
Here are 7 things I learned while accomplishing this goal:
1. I still hate running.
My reasoning for the 12 5K goal was to hold me accountable to running and training regularly. Part of why I thought I hated running was because of how hard it is to build your cardiovascular fitness and get over that early hump in training. I was wrong. I managed to build my cardiovascular fitness, but I still never experienced any “runner’s high” or a sense of love for the activity. I just don’t love aerobic activity. If you asked me to choose between running 50 suicides or 5 miles. I would choose 50 suicides every day. It is something about continuous running that I just haven’t been able to fall in love with yet.
2. I do actually love exercising.
Even though running isn’t something I love, I did love exercising regularly. I loved the energy I had, the sense of accomplishment and the overall boost in my health. Once I would get myself out there and warmed up, I truly did enjoy accomplishing the goal at hand. I need to find a way to exercise that is enjoyable which I think in the long run will boost my consistency with exercising.
3. Goals can hold you accountable.
I am no quitter and making a goal like I did was a stretch and one that I was going to have to continually work towards to accomplish. Printing the goals out and keeping them visually in front of me was one way I staid accountable.
4. I can multi-task.
So much research touts that there is no such thing as multi-tasking. Our brains can only attend to one thing at a time and if you are trying to multi-task you won’t be able to put forth your best focused effort on everything you are doing…something will suffer. Ok, I do think there is some truth in that, however, I was able to multi-task while running in a couple ways. One, I ran while I pushed my son in the stroller. I was able to incorporate my exercise time with some bonding time with my son. He LOVES riding in the stroller and seeing all the different things. Pushing him in the stroller did make everything 2x harder though, but just because something is harder doesn’t mean it isn’t worth doing. What I gained from pushing him outweighed what I lost in so many ways. The second way was on days when it was too cold to have Ethan out, I would listen to books on audible. I was able to distract my physical body from the pain with interesting books that also improved my knowledge.
5. Running takes more equipment than just shoes.
As a sports physical therapist, I know a lot about shoe fit and wear when it comes to running. I have fit and recommended shoes to lots of my patients over the years. So when I started this goal, I knew I would need a good pair of shoes. Later I found out I would need good socks, fleece lined leggings, comfortable sports bra, dri-fit shirts (short and long sleeved), a running jacket, a sock hat with a hole for your ponytail, wireless headphones and a flip belt to hold my phone. Whew! So much for not needing a lot of equipment…LOL!
6. Having a purpose increases performance.
Along the way, I realized that when I knew I was running for a good purpose it was a bit easier. I initially just found the 5K race each month that was close by, but after the first few races I tried to find causes that matched my values. When I knew why I was running and who I was raising money for, it became a bit easier.
7. Accomplishing goals can take a community and a good running partner.
After my second or third 5K, I started having a bit of a following. Friends and family members were constantly cheering me on via my social media posts. People would ask me where was my next 5K going to be and when. I had a goal set for me, but by making it public I was also held accountable by everyone else. Another reason why I choose running as an exercise was because you don’t have to coordinate with a whole group of people to get it done. It can be just you and the road. But, what I found is when it was just me and the road…I lost the mental toughness I needed to push myself. Many of my 5K’s were completed with my Mom or Dad. They are runners and have been for a long time. When I would run with them, I surpassed my expectations. I was able to be encouraged by them and they pushed me to be better. I am not too proud to admit that my mom can run circles around me…and she beat me much of the time. But, she was also always willing to encourage and help me through the times when my brain said quit. Thank you Mom!
I still stand by the fact that I do not like running. But the exercise of writing and accomplishing my goals was an unmatched experience in growth. Sometimes outcomes aren’t exactly what we are hoping for, but in the end the experience teaches us how to grow.
What do you do for physical fitness? What goals have you made in this arena and how have you accomplished them?
Thing number 7 doesn’t just apply to my goal of running, but I learned during the BulletProof Career Rebellion that community and mentorship are necessities in creating your ideal career. If you feel stuck right now or unsure on how to create your ideal career, then I would ask you to consider enrolling in the BulletProof Career Rebellion 6 week course. Their next course begins on 2/22/19 and you won’t be sorry you did. I enrolled as a favor to my friends, but gained so much more than I was expecting. As a favor to me, my friends are also letting my readers enroll at a 50% reduced price. Just use DRBHUEBNER in the coupon code box when you register.