Then there came a time when I ran 2 miles without stopping to walk. It felt amazing. Again, I was proud of myself for putting in all the work and effort to make progress possible.
A long time after that, I ran 3 miles without pausing for a break. It was surprising in a way, but in other ways not surprising. After all, I'd been running 3-4 times a week for months. That has to pay off eventually in the form of making running easier for me.
And I have continued to run 3 or 3.5 miles fairly often without taking any walk breaks. In fact, over the past 2 weeks especially I have felt stronger as if I were turning a corner, as if I could feel some tangible improvement taking place.
Then today, I ran 5 miles without stopping to walk. FIVE miles. FIVE FREAKING MILES. That might be considered a miracle by people who know me well...people who know the me that 7 months ago hated running and could barely run 2 minutes without stopping to throw up.
Today, I didn't even stop to walk when I had to blow my nose. I simply got the tissue out, used it, and dropped it in a trash can without breaking stride.
I finally feel like I am strong enough mentally (and physically...it takes both) to trust my body to do its thing without caving in to take a walk break that really isn't necessary. Walking 30 seconds doesn't really give me any extra strength to run another couple miles. It has been a crutch that I have clung to since the very beginning when it was a necessity. In the beginning, I had to walk to catch my breath, but these days I can recover at a slow jog if I need it.
I am sitting back today smiling, and thinking about the progress I have made. It has never been easy. I've put in a lot of hours and miles, for I am not a natural-born runner. This accomplishment has given me such a feeling of empowerment, more than any other thing I have attempted. I don't think I have ever started anything at such a low level of skill and worked this hard to achieve so much improvement.