The Couch-to-5k program got me started running, which carved out time to listen to podcasts, and inspired by the runners in my Twitter timeline I ran my first 5k race, the 2014 Scotiabank a year ago this weekend. For the 2015 event, I set two goals for the same race: run a personal best 1 kilometre over the course of the race, and run a best overall for a 5k. I achieved both, and would have done even better if it weren't for a heatwave. (The last kilometre would have been my fastest, though at the last second I decided to go the same speed as the rest of the race, already overheating.) Races are fun because there are hundreds of other people doing it, so there's a lot more watching out for everybody and a lot less paying attention to what's coming through my earphones.
This year I've run 4 races, with possibly another one in the fall to go. The BMO Marathon has added a 5k race for next year, ending where the marathoners end. That should be exhilarating! The Fall Classic added a 5k to their list of races, and it wore me out), so that race became interesting again. I enjoyed the 8k distance the most, having energy leftover after 5k and being worn out by 10k.
I track my races using Strava, which tells me segment times and compares my previous runs. I try to give 'kudos' to everybody who ran the same race. Who doesn't love getting kudos?
Some challenges remain, like getting the motivation to run 3 times a week rather than the 2 times it ended up being. I do hope to run in a half-marathon, but not for at least a year while I still get the hang on running in general and races in particular. There are no plans yet to travel to run, with the possible exception of Vancouver Island, where family could let me stay over. Starting small has worked out really well, and small increases in challenges has kept me engaged in the activity without burning out.