I've never exactly been what you would call speedy. A few years ago, I finally got brave and started running outside, mainly because the indoor track in the fitness center on campus, where I work, has a 12-lap-per-mile circumference. You feel like a Hot Wheels car after a few miles and need one of these to keep up with any run over a mile.
Yes, tiny adorable child servant included.
Back in 2010, I made the mistake of running a local 5K. It was a memorial 5K run during Mother's Day weekend, the race fees all went to support Backpacks for Kids, a charity that and I was immediately freaking hooked on the metaphorical crack that is the occasional charity runner lifestyle. It's a seamy underworld of free bagels, granola bars and all the free t-shirts and tech shirts you can stand, kids. Don't let them tell you that you can stop after just one. Especially if you work in a college town that seems to have a vibrant and competitive running community that holds at least a 5K once a week from about April through September.
I've done a number of local 5Ks, an annual 10K and this past spring, did my first half marathon. I'm a pretty solidly middle of the pack runner who occasionally hits it lucky and lands in third in my age group. Like most recreational runners, when it comes to a training plan, this was me for most part.
My best 5K time to date (on land, as opposed to the alternate universe of the treadmill) is 28:31. By some miracle, I recently managed a 25:25 on the treadmill at 1.5% incline without actually breaking my spleen. That PR course, which is advertised as "fast and flat", is coming around again on August 10, and I intend to get a new PR.
Then, maybe, just maybe, I'll bother plugging my time into the Runner's World SmartCoach app and see what it spews out for a half training plan. Because I'm thinking of doing another. Even though I pretty much swore I would never do another because of the insane time commitment required for training halfway decently.
Clearly I am insane.