I Made a Mistake: Training for a 5K

Once again, I’ve fallen into the pit of being overly ambitious about something and now it’s coming to bite me in the butt.

About two months ago, right before my weekly sweat bath (hot yoga), I picked up a card in the locker room about a ‘yoga triathlon’ going down in Kansas City in the middle of May. You know how a normal triathlon is running, biking and then swimming? Well this one is a 5K, DJ-powered yoga session, and then meditation. Plus a bonus aerial yoga class.

Obviously, I had to go, and quickly shelled out the $100 event fee and $50 AirBNB so I could make it happen. However, it turns out that going from couch to 5K in about two months is harder than you would think.

I’d like to preface the following account of epic failure by saying that it’s not like I’m a complete newb to 5K’s or even running in general. I successfully ran a 5K in freezing cold February back in my freshman year of college, when the idea of running in snow didn’t horrify me. I used to jog fairly regularly throughout college, sometimes even at 1am in the morning. (I was insane, obviously.)

But somewhere between then and now, I became the equivalent of a human potato.

Maybe I’m just out of practice or it could be because I sit at a desk 5 days of the week. Either way, I knew two months ago when I started out that I had quite a ways to go. I made a pact with my friend (who is an actual personal trainer, might I add) to run a total of 5 miles per week. I downloaded the Runkeeper app to keep ourselves accountable. Some weeks I met my goal and others I didn’t; but I never really worried about my progress until this week.

Guys, the race is only a week away and I’m still huffing and puffing at the 2 mile mark. I’ve only been able to run a full 3.1 miles twice in two months time, and even then I’ve had to pause once or twice to stretch my aching calves. I continue to stretch both before and after running, but my calves always end up burning halfway through my run and I peter out.

My only goal for this 5K is to make it through without stopping to walk, and now I’m faced with the reality that it might not happen. Which, after two months of training, you can imagine was a pretty saddening thought.

Everyone keeps telling me they’re sure I can do it, but now I’m not only feeling like I’m about to let down myself, but others too. I feel like at just 24, I should be in the best shape of my life and be able to run not just longer, but faster and harder. But my body doesn’t seem to agree.

The thing is, even though I’m slightly disappointed with my progress, I know either way I’m going to finish that darn 5K, whether I do manage to run it out or walk part of it. I know I’m going to rock the yoga and meditation portion. Focusing on the things I can do makes me feel better about the situation. Either way, I’m still going to KC and I’m going to have a blast.

Besides, maybe aerial yoga will turn out to be a secret talent of mine, who knows?

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