Why not a 10k?


I ran another 5k race this weekend.

Actually, it was a 5k and 10k race. Why didn’t I give the 10k a try?

I’ve completed four 5k races prior to this one. I’ve run two 5-mile runs on my own. A 10k isn’t much further than that. So why did I run the 5k?

I actually had {secretly} considered running a 10k before my trip to Ireland this fall. I had researched and came up with a training plan. I found a few 10k races around the Twin Cities.

Then I did something I probably shouldn’t have…

I calculated my approximate finishing time and checked the race results for the previous year… I would have come in last.

Obviously, that’s a fear of mine. The races were just too small to have a bunch of slow people like me. So I backed away. I lost of my confidence. Sure, that may sound like I’ve given up, but I haven’t. I didn’t back away completely! I signed up for a few more 5k races so that I would keep running all summer long.

I’ve been struggling with taking off the same five pounds this summer. And while I’d like to be further along in my weight loss, I’m actually proud that I haven’t thrown in the towel just because it’s summer. I could have said, “Screw it. I’ve messed up already, I’ll just start again in the fall.”

That may have been what I used to say; but this time, I’m not on a diet. This is my life. I’m learning healthy habits that I want to stick. I don’t want to wait until after vacation. I don’t want to wait until X event has happened in my life to “start over”. Sure, I may have overindulged more this summer than not. I may have not worked out five to six days per week like I used to when I was losing more weight. However, these 5k races have still held me accountable.

I kept running. No matter what, I always ran three days per week.

Before I began running, I would have never had this attitude.

You see, for me, running became a workout plan that I had to follow. In order to complete my goal of running my first 5k race, I couldn’t skip a scheduled run! With any other workout, I used the old, “Ugh. I just don’t feel like it today.” But I knew that when you miss a stepping stone in your race training, you throw everything off-kilter. There really wasn’t room to make up for it.

This is why it kept me going.

So, naturally, my next step would be to try to complete a 10k race, right? And although scared, I had considered it. But in the back of my mind, I remembered what I’d heard about marathoners not losing {much} weight while training for endurance races.

Then I read this post by Ann at Twelve in Twelve. She’s run several races {twelve of them in twelve months, in fact} and expressed her struggle with losing weight. Her trainer makes a great point about waiting to run a marathon until she’s lost the weight so that she can run as fast as she can! It’s worth a read.

Later, I read more about high-intensity interval training and building muscle in the book The Eat, Drink, and Be Gorgeous Project by Esther Blum.

A lot of what I read just reminded me of what I should be doing if I really want to lose weight. However, the following line really struck a chord with me:

“Still not convinced HIIT will be effective? Look at the physique of a marathoner versus that of a sprinter and tell me who has more muscle!”

Wow! After having watched those Olympic sprinters just a few weeks prior, this visual really drove home the point.

That’s not to say that I think marathon running is a bad thing. I have the utmost respect for marathon runners! Endurance training absolutely has its place. In fact, for the first time ever, I actually know someone personally who will be running a marathon here in the Twin Cities. And I’m completely bummed that it’ll take place while I’m across the pond. I would have totally gone to cheer her on! Angie is an inspiration!

My goals right now? In order to continue my weight loss, this fall and winter I’ll be running intervals and lifting weights.

Don’t worry, I’ll run a 10k this spring.

{See I’m putting it out there in writing!}

I have already downloaded the 5k to 10k app. I have already run five miles at time and a 10k is not much more. In fact, I do have a 5-mile race planned when I get back from my trip abroad. So that’s really not that big of a deal, right?

Still, you know what? My 5k run this weekend was a very hard one. I couldn’t even have imagined running a 10k that day when I was struggling so much with the 5. They are still a challenge for me. However, my goal now needs to be to continue to lose the weight and get faster at my 5ks.

There’s plenty of time to work on endurance when I get to my goal weight.

Come back tomorrow for my Race Day recap to see who I met!

What are your current fitness goals?



5 responses »

  1. I’m with ya on the weight loss path. I’ve just begun my second 60 day session of “Insanity”. I’ve lost 10.5 pounds (that sounds crazy to count the half pound but I’m so happy to be rid of it!) in 70 days. I have 5.5 more to go for my initial goal.

    Best wishes to you on your journey!

  2. Pingback: Just Another 5k Recap « Season It Already!

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