My friends assured me that I did not need to be a runner, so I agreed.
If you haven't heard of Girls on the Run, it is an awesome program for 3rd-5th grade girls. It is at it's heart a self-esteem building, empowering program which uses running as motivator and a confidence builder. GOTR was started by Molly Barker and ends with everyone running a 5K. It is a truly wonderful program and I love helping with it. We teach lessons through games and activities about gossip, inner beauty, positive self talk, standing up to peer pressure, bullying and so much more. We are building strong, confident girls who know they're beautiful inside and out! Girls on the Run is so much fun!
There is also the running. After every lesson we do a workout, which involves running, but usually with a fun twist. One day we had a scavenger hunt. Sometimes they have silly things to do after each lap. One lesson is like a big game of tag. So we're running, but we're having fun!
After a few weeks, I wasn't running much due to supervising girls, handing out their activities, etc. and decided I'd better get serious about this running thing, because I have never run a 5K before in my life and I don't want to be the last one to finish! So I started running more during practice and it was fun to see my number of laps completed and the amount I could run before needing a walking break increase.
This week we have our practice 5K, so I decided that I needed to do my own practice ahead of time, to see if I could even complete the thing! So this morning, I set an alarm and headed over to our school track bright and early. On our track 5 laps = a mile, so I needed to do 16 laps to approximate a 5K (at least that's the math I did, if I'm wrong, don't tell me).
I texted my mom to let her know I was starting and that I had no idea how long it would take me. I decided to push myself to run three laps and then fast walk one and so on. The first couple of sets were pretty easy and then it started getting warmer and other people showed up, but I kept going! When I was on my last set of run three, walk one, I decided to do the walking lap after only two running, so that I could run the final lap.
I crossed the "finish line" (when luckily everyone had left) with my arms in the air! I was so proud of myself. If you had told me three months ago that I would have run a 5K in about 45 minutes, while actually running 3/4 of it, I would have thought you were crazy. I haven't run since freshman year of high school when I had to run the mile for PE. It's so crazy, but really exciting! And now I know that I will not have to be embarrassed when we run our 5K in a few weeks ;)
It's cool that not only have we been helping our girls become more confident as runners and human beings, but I've been able to become a confident runner, too! Hopefully I will keep it up once our season is over!
P.S. Here I am after finishing my run :)