This past Saturday I did something that I have been dreaming about doing for over 3 years. Growing up I was always involved in sports and dance but due to a knee disorder, I found myself constantly on crutches and doctor after doctor telling me I needed to do less intense activities. I remember in grade 11 sitting in a specialists office at one of Ontario’s largest hospitals and being told that I would live with knee pain for the rest of my life unless I had surgery which would involve me being laid up for 6 months and subsequently having to relearn how to even walk. I obviously chose to live with the pain and some days it is less than other days but for now I just want to live life I don’t want to be laid up for half a year! Shortly after my oldest turned one I decided to dedicate her nap time to my fitness and trying and find a workout routine that I liked. After doing some different dvd workout programs I got this crazy idea that I wanted to try and run. I was not and never have been a runner but I thought I could get a treadmill and it would be challenging for me but something I could do while she napped and besides it sounds so cool when you say “oh you know I just went for a run”. Little did I know how hard it would be! Well to be honest I think I did know it would be hard at least hard for me but I think that was part of the reason why I wanted to try it. I made a goal of 5k which seemed like a good starting goal. When you hear runners talk about 5k they make it seem so easy like its just a warm up or something so I thought hey I’m no runner – yet- so 5k seems reasonable! I researched pinterest for running schedules to get me started and heard over and over about the “Couch to 5k” app so I purchased it and I was ready to go. The first day was something like walk 60 seconds jog 30 seconds and so on I thought wow this is going to be so easy. I hopped on that treadmill and got about 20 seconds into the jog and was like OH MAN what was I thinking. I continued to keep at it each day and found it encouraging that SLOWLY I was getting the hang of this running thing but before I hit my goal of 5k my son was born and that threw my whole regime out the window! After he was old enough to be on a good napping schedule I tried to get back into it but I was so discouraged how much of my progress I had lost that I wanted to give up. I am in no way a quitter but I also am super hard on myself and when I feel like I am failing at something I want to throw the towel in. In my mind I wasn’t quitting as much as I was accepting the fact that I am just not a runner! I do believe some people are born with a gifted ability to run and run long and fast and others are not born with the talent but with a desire to run and so its more of a learned thing. I wanted to be the latter but I just didn’t see it in the cards for myself. Than along came my baby and well she was (and is) such a high needs baby that I had literally no time for myself and any time I did have I was using it to blog and do other things I enjoyed and so my dream of running 5k was going to be just that – a dream! Fast forward to this past September when my sister in love (who is an accomplished runner having run half and full marathons) informed me that there was a 5k run that was happening in Phoenix, AZ coincidentally happening at the exact same time we would be there for vacation. She threw it out there and at first I got a pang of excitmently like maybe I could work the next 5-6 weeks hard and get myself prepared to try and run this race and after a day or two back on the treadmill I was feeling defeated and slightly no actually a lot embarrassed. I didn’t want to embarrass myself by trying to run 5k which to so many is nothing and if I couldn’t even do that I would look like a fool and more importantly embarrass my sister in love who is this amazing runner. Well since she sorta knows me (she was my roommate back when we work at camp in high school – hence how she met my brother so we go way back) and my tendency to be hard on myself she left me no room to back out or better yet chicken out! She signed me (and herself) up for the race and I was “locked in”. I knew in my head I could do it I have run 5k before but I was scared of being too slow or that I would “choke” as I liked to refer to it. I knew my nerves would be in full force and I have really no experience running outside so that scared me. I was also going to be attempting my first race in the dessert so hot weather and different air conditions. For me running is so much more of a mental battle than a physical so often my body can keep going but in my head I start panicking and letting negative thoughts cloud my judgment so I had determined before I even got to AZ that I was going to finish the race didn’t matter how long it took me but that being said I naturally had some goals and some expectations of how I wanted to run it. I of course couldn’t sleep Friday night which was so ridiculous in my mind that I was actually nervous about doing this – I was doing it and that was that so I needed to sleep so mentally and physically I could do what I wanted to do but sleep I did not! So Saturday morning I got up while my whole family peacefully slept and I got dressed and stretched out! I was feeling nervous jitters but felt good but as soon as we started out I quickly realized this was going to be hard! I finished the 5k in a time that wasn’t terrible but wasn’t as quickly as I had hoped to do it in. I also learnt a couple things like you should eat and have something to drink before you try and run 5k. I also have to say a huge thank you to my sister in love who was such a great coach during crash “training” and during the run and my hubby who cheered me on and never lost confidence in me even when I did in myself. When I saw my babies waiting for me at the end of the race I started crying. I was proud of myself and at the same time a bit disappointed in myself. I was feeling exhausted, tired, and even some pain. I am determined to keep working at running and hope to be able to run another 5k and maybe even something longer one day! In honour of accomplishing this, in my books, huge accomplishment I am doing a fun little giveaway over on my Instagram so make sure you go check it out and enter. Winner will be announced Friday!