The Mission, if accepted: Complete a 5k on Sunday, June 6th, 2010 (motivated by the Weight Watchers 2010 Walk-It Challenge)
My Personal Goal: Walk/Jog said 5k and complete in under 45 minutes (i.e. 15-min miles)
The Contender(s): Me, and my beloved team of support (AKA my husband and friends)
Location: The Pasadena Rose Bowl – site of the famed Rose Bowl Tournament and the Tournament of Roses Parade — complete with a perimeter pedestrian path of 3.2 miles (5k)
The Lowdown: At 6:40-something on Sunday morning I hear my husband’s alarm going off, knowing I now have about ten more minutes before my back-up alarm goes off. I greedily relish every second of half-sleep, peeping one eye open every other minute or so to see how much time I have left. Finally at about 6:50-something, about three minutes before the alarm time, I get out of bed, left leg, right leg, and out…realizing that I’m awake. Teeth brushed, bananas sliced, cereal poured, milk waiting, workout clothes on, I wait for my hubby to join me for a healthy, somewhat hearty (but not too heavy) breakfast together. We lace up our shoes, make sure we have all we need, even grab the camera, and head out by 7:40 to the Rose Bowl. Although it’s supposed to heat up to a smokin’ Southern California 93 degrees by mid-day at 8-ish in the morning it’s sunny and cool — perfect for a nice 5k jaunt around the Rose Bowl.
Upon pulling into the arena area and driving towards our chosen parking lot, we notice the proposed updates to the pedestrian path have now become a reality. Roads have been paved, clear pedestrian and car lanes have been drawn, areas shaded, and new white lines have been painted — it looks great and incredibly inviting. As soon as our friends join us we take a quick before picture, and head off to join the many other walkers, bikers, and runners.
Continuing in the interval format, my friend and I start off with a 5-minute walking warm-up, then progress to intervals of 3-minute jogs and 2-minute walks. We pace ourselves, and manage to carry on conversations, but bring on the activity enough to break out a sweat and get our hearts beating. The slight up and down grades are manageable, and the sight of fellow exercisers, plus a refreshing breeze keeps us going on our merry way. Although I will still firmly say, “I am NOT a runner!” I do admit that the bump in activity, the stretching of my legs in a non-walking way, and the amazing feeling afterwards is enough reward, that I will confess to being an interval jogger. Slower pace, shorter intervals, manageable level of activity — this I can do. About 40 minutes and 50 seconds later (inexact due to user and stopwatch miscommunication) we reached our goal and completed the 5k. With a little rounding-off that makes for less than 14-minute miles (getting close to 13.5) — in a very good pace. More Math – adding up our intervals means we jogged for about 21 minutes of our 40 minutes, meaning we jogged for more than half of our 3.2 miles. For me, non-runner, hater-of-running, the fact that I jogged for 21 minutes is awesome! And the fact that I felt comfortable in our pace and our activity – great!
Mission Accomplished! Words of encouragement to the fellow non-runners out there. If I can do it, so can you. So go ahead, choose a goal that is seemingly impossible, break it down to the manageable, and go for it. And then, share your stories? What’s your goal? How’s your journey? How’s your mission?