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Training for a 5K

A Katyite shares the reason she runs 

Angela and her husband at the Space Center 5K last year

I have never been the type of person who likes to run.  In fact, up until last year, I despised running.  It was something I did merely for the health value, but I am not like those people who enjoy running for the sake of running.

However, once we had our second child, we decided it was time to let our gym membership go to save money.   For a while, I didn’t exercise much.  But, for me, exercise is about knowing I’m doing what I can to stay healthy, to have strong lungs and a strong heart so that I can be my best for my children.

Since I’m not a runner, and since my husband and I stay very busy, I knew that there would have to be something bigger than just “today I should run” to keep me on track.  So, last year around this time, I searched the internet for 5K runs in the Houston area and found one at Space Center Houston that is held each July.  I decided to train for it, and found online guides to becoming 5K ready in 6-8 weeks.

My favorite training guide, by a man named Hal Higdon, gives a daily exercise: running, walking, or a day of rest.  It gives the mileage for the day as well.  It’s perfect for me because I can mindlessly follow his guide and know I will be ready to run a 5K by the race day.

Last year when I was training for the 5K was the first time I’d ever run more than 2 miles at a time and it was the first time I’ve ever actually looked forward to my daily run.  The training guide is set up so that I was always challenged but that I also was never unable to complete the run. 

After the 5K I ran last July, I intended to sign up for another race to keep me on track.  However, busy lives got in the way.  Without a race on the horizon to look to, my health once again fell by the wayside.

We’re now 6 weeks out from the same annual race at Space Center Houston, and I’ve signed myself up for it again this year.  I’m a week into my training schedule and already I remember how much I love training.

The jogging part will probably never be easy for me, nor will it be the primary draw.  But while I am training, my husband watches the kids while I get my run in.  My running time is all mine: I can listen to a podcast, jam to my favorite music, or just be alone with my thoughts and with relative silence.  I also love the daily sense of accomplishment and the goal that I have to work towards.

This year, my plan is to train for the 5K in July and then stay in 5K mode so that I can run the last part of the Katy Triathalon with my husband.  He races the entire race, and while that is still not something I am ready to commit to, I think it will be a great support and motivator for me to be able to run the last leg with him.

How about you?  How do you stay motivated to be healthy?  Post a comment below!