So today I ran my first 5k run in about six weeks. At that time, I'd made it to a 12k LSD and a fall half marathon seemed in my sights. But then I missed a few weeks of training when I went canoeing for a week on the Kootenay River, and all of a sudden my training was scuttled. Geez, this story sounds familiar.
The thing is, it's not that I haven't been exercising. I've been averaging about five or six days a week of either yoga, body bump, Zumba, dance, or some other form of activity. Not to mention biking and walking everywhere (Calgary has such an amazing trail system and I haven't needed to drive more than twice the entire time I've been here). In fact, I've even managed to lose a few pounds and get a little more trim because of all of the exercising I'm doing. So you'd think busting out a 5k run would be easy for me, given that I'm not quite a couch potato.
But I'm not going to lie: today's run was a bit of a toughie. By the time I rounded the last corner and ticked down the last 100 metres, I was tired.
I was still happy that I can bust out a 5k run after not having trained at all, and probably if I'd done a 10:1 run:walk, I'd have made it to 10k or so. But the thing that never ceases to amaze me is how running long distances requires you to committing to the runs - three, four times a week. And the thing is, I also enjoy doing other things.
Now that we're settled into our new town, the gym and yoga studio are so close that I'm enjoying biking over there for a few classes every evening. They offer variety, strength training and agility - things that as runners we don't necessarily get to focus on if all we do is run.
In the end, I'm glad to know that if I had to tomorrow, I could achieve a 5 to 8k race. But it just hits home to me what an accomplishment it is for anyone who completes a long distance training program. I remember now what a feat my first 10k race was, let alone a half or a full.
I haven't ruled another long distance race in my future by any means. But for now, what I'm struggling to find is that balance between running and cross-training. And once I find that balance, I'm sure I'll be back on the path to my next half marathon in no time!