Training Starts Today: My Thoughts

Well ladies and gent's, my Cherry Blossom training starts TOMORROW.

This is rather scary and exciting for me for many reasons. First, it's important to know that I do not consider myself a "runner" - I never have. But since I tried and succeeded the Couch to 5k program two summers ago, I found out that anything was possible. My mother was a runner for most of her life. She ran about 5 times a week - it was her thing and she always told me about the adrenaline rush or runners "high" (which I never believed until I started running myself). Several years ago, she had problems with her knee and the doctor told her she could either

a) stop running and be able to run if she needed to or

b) continue running and risk never being able to run again.

For safety reasons, she stopped running and focused on walking everywhere all the time (with my dog!) instead. So, with inspiration from my mom (and dad because he ran too!), that is why I decided to try running.

Last year, I trained for the Cherry Blossom but did not show up on race day. There were many occurrences that attributed to this and here they are:

- The Cherry Blossom training program had something wrong with their email system. It wasn't until about 2-3 weeks after the training began that I realized that I wasn't receiving emails and training already started - without me. I tried to jump in where they were but that didn't work out too well because...

- I got shin splints terribly. This was probably because I started training late.

- Early in the program, I emailed the "virtual coach" and asked him if I can train on the treadmill off and on. He said yes so I proceeded. What I didn't know was to always put the treadmill on a little incline to try and match the resistance of being outside. Basically, treadmill + running outside are NOT equal so you must be careful.

When the day of the race came, I did not feel ready. I switched to the Cherry Blossom 5k (which I was ready for) but didn't go to that either. I was disappointed in myself. I trained so hard with so many drawbacks that it was difficult for me to face race day. The training itself though - whether I was ready or not - did wonders for my body, my mood, and my motivation in all aspects of life. Ironically, last spring semester was a great time for me. I wanted to do work, I was more alert and extremely healthy. Indeed, I correlate this to my training so even though I did not show up for the race, I was a success in my own right.

As I start this training program, I will have a good attitude and not be so hard on myself. There were times last year were I cried - feeling like a failure. I refuse to let myself do that again because by training and trying, I am doing more for myself than other people can say. You, my readers, are also working hard for something. We should be happy and thankful that we have goals and are trying our hardest. We can do it - whatever our goals or aspirations may be!