It’s 6:00 pm, and I am ready for my run. Parts of me are nervous because I don’t know how I’ll perform, but the other parts are excited because I know I am becoming one step closer to my goal, my goal to run a 5K. As I warm up with my 5 minute walk and listen to the music, I thank God for the weather, which He provided to allow me to spend another day outside for my run. The sun is shining, with a slight breeze, which acts as nature’s fan to help keep me cooler. My neighbors are out enjoying their daily yard work, preparing themselves for the summer. The insects are everywhere, as a sign of Spring, and praying they don’t fly into my nose or mouth.
When the 5 minute warm-up is complete, am told to “run now”, and I begin. I first begin going down hill, pacing myself, working to not become too exhausted too soon. toward the bottom, I level out, circle around the first cal de sac, and then start back up hill. I see the crest of the hill in sight, knowing once I make it up there, it is level again. I must make it up. My feet are hitting the sidewalk pavement, and I breathe in two, three four, out, two three four, repeatedly. I have to maintain control of my breathing to control my heart rate.
The crest is nearing, and I will make it. Just as I make it, I am told to walk. I still need to maintain control of my breathing. Breathing too fast can make me lose oxygen and become dehydrated. Breathe more slowly, Jennifer. I made it. Now it’s only a matter of seconds before my next run. My longer run. My 3 minute run, as opposed to my previous 90 second run. Can I make it? Yes I can, because this is working toward the new, healthier me! God is by my side. He will help push me. Paul ran the race with endurance. I can do it, too! Literally.
90 seconds of walk pass, and I am told to run again. Here we go. I begin going down hill again toward the second cal de sac. The bittersweet thing about this one is that the distance is longer, however the hill is steeper. What goes down must come back up, right? I got this. Pace yourself, Jennifer. Remember to breathe. I begin to notice some little details about my neighborhood, certain inconsistencies in the sidewalk, the trees and bushes planted in the yards, the design of the freshly mowed grass in each yard, and which neighbors are coming and going.
I get to the the bottom of the cal de sac, and start my way back up. Boy, this hill is steep, and it’s longer. I HAVE to make it. I just have to. Keep breathing and pace yourself. God is with me. He will push me. I’m almost there. My legs are getting tired. I’m going to make it. I’m going to make it. Keep going. I crest the hill with 45 seconds left to go. The sidewalk is flat now. I can keep going. My breaths are become shorter, but still maintaining control. 30 seconds. 20 seconds. Keep going, you’re almost done. 5 seconds…PUSH! “Walk now”. THANK YOU, JESUS!!! I made it through the first 3 minute run. I have a 2 minute walk, just enough to catch my breath, maintain my control again, and ready to run again.
I go down the third cal de sac. This one is much shorter than the first two, and the hill is not as steep. I manage to make it around and back up the cal de sac before my walk is over. I cross the street to the next sidewalk to begin my second round. “Halfway”. That’s my favorite word, second to “cool down”. I know I can make it. This is the long, flat part, being the easiest part of my run.
“Run now.” Okay…90 seconds, let’s go! It’s flat for a while before I begin to go back down hill to the first cal de sac again. This 90 seconds goes by rather quickly and suddenly I’m able to walk again. I can feel myself becoming tired, yet energized at the same time. I know I only have one more 3 minute run to go. I can do this. “Run now”. Let’s do this. I am about halfway down the hill when I am told to run again. I make my way around, and begin back up the hill. My legs are getting tired….more tired this time. My quads are burning, and my breath is becoming shorter. I MUST conquer this hill! Keep the pace. Slow down a little, it could help. I’m getting there. I’m almost there. I push myself, yelling at myself in my mind. I pretend Jillian Michaels is next to me, yelling at me to keep going. I finally crest the hill. My heart is pounding out of my chest, and my breathing is now too short to maintain control. I can’t continue. I pause the program with a minute and 30 seconds left to go. I walk during this time. I need to gain back my composure so I can complete this monster. I am on level ground now, so it’ll be easier.
About 60 seconds later, I resume the program and complete my 3 minute run down the second cal de sac. I am upset because I had to stop in my 3 minute run, but I am happy because I still pushed my self, regardless of the walk halfway through it. “1 minute left”. I think to myself that I would have regretted not doing this at all. I am glad I pushed myself to come out here anyway and get it done. Repeating this week is an option. I’m in no hurry. I just want to get it done, and get it done right, without killing myself. I get around the third cal de sac again. “Cool down”. I am almost finished, with 5 minutes left. I am tired, still out of breath. My legs burn, slightly. I begin to walk back home in my cool down. “Work out complete”. Victory is now in mind. I don’t care what I had to do to complete the day. I managed to still complete it.
As I walk on the sidewalk to home, I can feel myself smiling on the inside, knowing I did the right thing. Those little endorphins have been released, and I can feel it. I thank God for getting me through another work out. As I round the corner to the sidewalk leading me back home, I inhale a deep breath through my nose, and the sweet smell of honeysuckle has filled the air. I would definitely compare this to the sweet smell of victory. This is my reward for completing another good day’s work out. I may now enjoy my accomplishment and the gifts God has allowed me to enjoy. I am also hot and sweating, regardless of the slight breeze blowing. I know I will have to do this again and keep going in order to reach my goal. It can only get better from here, as long as I keep it up.
I see my front door nearing, and I know there is air conditioning inside. I can’t wait.
I walk in my front door, relieved. The cool air immediately touches my skin. I immediately take in some water to rehydrate myself before I begin my stretches. Yes….victory will be mine. 5K , I am coming for you!