It has been quite the process getting ready for the Oakland Running Festival 5K that is happening this weekend.  I haven’t really run at all since the middle of 2010 after completing a few 5Ks in the early part of the year. So when I sat down to put together a bit of a plan to get myself back in the game for this 5K, I quickly realized that it was going to be tough.

Last year, I used the Couch to 5K training program to get myself ready for my first 5K.  I am a huge fan of this program, and it was very successful in getting me ready in a way that felt just right – not too hard, not too easy.  That program takes 9 weeks.  When I started training for this coming race, I had 4 weeks to go from basically nothing to being able to run 3 miles.  Unfortunately I’m not currently in the type of shape that allows me to just get out and run for a long time.  I definitely needed to build up.

Now enter some of the most busy weeks at work I’ve had in months, and more than two out-of-town trips in this four-week period that make it exceedingly difficult to find time to run.  Needless to say, I haven’t really felt close to ready for this race.  Up until today, the most I had run at one time in 2011 was half a mile (I’ve been doing intervals – run, walk, run, walk).

This morning was my last chance to get a run in since I didn’t want to run the day before the race.  I got up, headed to the gym (there’s a windy and rainy storm going on – not really ideal running conditions for outside), and made myself imagine what it would feel like to come home from the gym and tell Jon that I had run an entire 3.1 miles without stopping.

And that’s exactly what I did.

Let’s be honest – it was the slowest 5K in the history of mankind.  No really.  I’m talking adding 8 or 9 minutes to my first-ever 5K time (which was pretty darn slow as well).  But I was running the entire time.

The actual race will be different – no treadmill to help me stay on pace, no TV to entertain me when I get bored, and no digital timer and distance tracker so that the math nerd in me can constantly calculate what percentage I am done, how much time is left, etc.  But there will be fellow Oaklanders there to cheer me on.  Here’s hoping I can do it again, and feel OK about being the slowest girl out there.

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