Of all the things we do in our CrossFit workouts, running is still one of my least favorite activities. Short or long, slow or fast, it’s always a challenge. I’m not built for it and have had a mental block on enjoying it since PE in junior high school.
Some of that may have been due to my childhood asthma. Some of it may have been rankling at the idea of being mandated to run in PE. Some of it may have been I’d rather spend time with my head in a book than be outside and active.
Whatever it was, it left its mark. And I decided long ago that I hated running.
When I started CrossFit in 2013, that was definitely still the case. And I did my best to avoid any workout that involved running anything more than a bare minimum. I’ll freely admit that I cherry picked many days to avoid such an onerous task.
Over time, it got a little easier. And last year I even worked with Coaches Drea and Isaac on running form to try and get better. I knew I wasn’t going to break any land speed records, but I didn’t want to hurt as badly after running like I did regularly at that point.
I did my best to not avoid running and instead try and work on getting better. Little by little it helped, though I still dread any workout that involves running.
This year I surprised myself. Back in August 2018 we did the workout “Gunny” and it involved not one but THREE miles — and not just running, but running with a weight vest. It was not my cup of tea. But I ran/walked a mile with a 20# vest and completed it in 11:05. I think my previous “best” mile at that point was around 14 minutes.
In the last few months, I had a few 800m runs where I completed them in around 4:30 and I began to get curious. What would my mile time be?
We had the mile run come up, but it was on a day I couldn’t get in. I was disappointed by that fact, and that was very entertaining. Me? Disappointed because I COULDN’T run? What was the world coming to?
A week or two ago I publicly declared that I would try and run a mile over the holiday break to see where I stood. That was blasphemous to me. Declaring that I WANTED to run? I debated seeking a mental health professional, at least for a moment or two.
And today, the day after Christmas, we had open gym. It was a good opportunity to not only just get in and get moving after being a bit of a slug for three days, but also test the theory that my mile time was faster. Would I be able to break the mythical “10 minute” mile barrier?
Well, lo and behold, I did. 9:55.
I ran the first 800m non stop and the second one in fits and starts, never walking more than maybe 50m at a time, and not stopping. Eventually my goal is to be able to run a mile without stopping, but I will take what I did today.
Me. Running under a 10 minute mile. I’m still a bit in shock, but also — proud of myself. 🙂 Thank you to all my coaches and friends who encouraged me to work on my running skills over the last few years. I appreciate all the nudges.
And maybe my PE teacher from my old junior high school (that doesn’t exist any more — closed in 2008) will stop judging me from my past every time I try and run a mile. 🙂