It took me a while to get used to my new fall schedule, but I have finally managed to ramp up my fitness goals (workout 5 days a week!) and settle into some sort of routine. My routine has pretty much been to go to spinning three times and smartbells twice each week; I had mostly been doing cardio this summer in preparation for my half marathon. You’ll notice that this schedule doesn’t leave very much room for running. In fact, I hadn’t really run very much at all since the Labor Day race.

Until Sunday, that is!

Some friends convinced me to run a 5k in Salem. Actually, I had planned on running two 5ks earlier this fall, in Newton and in Somerville, but for each of those occasions the weather was freakishly out of season (snow in October! Not my idea of a fun run…) and I wimped out each time. This weekend, though, I was determined to complete the race! Because of the differences in distance, 3.1 miles compared to the 13.1 of the half marathon, I had to rethink my running strategy and pacing goals. While training for the half marathon, I did a ratio of 1 minute walking for every 5 minutes of running in order to build up the endurance needed to finish the race. But 3.1 miles seemed much more doable – I knew that I wanted to do it in one go with no stopping, and that I wanted to beat my 5k time in the half marathon.

hannah_white_salem5kAnd I did! I finished in 40 minutes, which beat my last time by about 5 minutes! This is so crazy to me for a few reasons. Firstly, I can run for 40 minutes without stopping! I may not be the fastest, but that is such an amazing improvement from where I was a few months ago, when I couldn’t run for 10 minutes without stopping. Second, I drastically improved my pace, without even planning to! I think this is because of my intensive focus on cardio and strengthening my heart. Also, racing is so exciting. I never ever thought that this is something I would be interested in, and now I’m envisioning my future collection of race entry bibs. I talk a lot about wanting to change my life, and I know that I have. Really, there is no way that I would have done something like this a year ago. Now I can’t stop! Anybody interested in the Somerville Superhero 5k or Brighton’s Thanksgiving Day Race?

Finally, I should just say how super fun it is to run in a costume. The 5k was a Halloween run (it’s Salem, so of course it was Halloween themed), and I was excited to run in a costume. I wore my regular running gear, plus a few accessories: 20’s style flapper dress, satin gloves, feathered hairband, and fishnets!


What races are you running this fall? Leave your comments!