Flat Running Buddy # 1: Kayla and a 5k plus a bit more running

Flat Running Buddy # 1: Kayla and a 5k plus a bit more running

As part of my fundraiser and half marathon training for Team Challenge for Crohn’s and Colitis, I’m creating Flat Running Buddies. What’s a Flat Running Buddy? It’s kind of like a Flat Stanley. You send me your picture, I go running with flat you, and then I post the story of our run here on my blog.

Yesterday, I was delighted to run with my first flat running buddy, Kayla. We have been friends for several years, she’s a wonderful writer and a super friend. She wanted to send me a photo of herself doing something challenging that would inspire me. The photo she chose is from a two-day trek in Colca Canyon in Peru. I decided to do a little research on Colca Canyon, which was really easy since Kayla is a travel writer, I could read about her trip on the Internet! Colca is either the world’s deepest or second deepest canyon, it’s either Colca or Colca’s sister canyon Cotahausi. The lessons Kayla learned on her challenging trek ring true for running and I’m now so inspired by her two-day trek that she’s going with me on two days of running. This blog post chronicles day one, the long run she did with me in honor of the six hours of hiking done on her first day in Colca Canyon, the longer hiking day.

For the first part of our run, Kayla hung out with my favorite running snack, pomegranate  Honey Stingers, while I ran on the treadmill.


I was actually excited to try out running on the treadmill for the first time in years. A friend told me that she likes her treadmill because it has helped her learn so much about pacing. I’m pretty lousy at it, I think. I usually really hate running for the first half an hour because I have trouble settling into a good pace and get really winded right from the start and end up giving myself an asthma attack on far too many runs. So I set a goal: to run 5k (3.1 miles) without stopping for any walk breaks.

And I did!

Sure, it was my easily my slowest 5k ever, but I ran it. It was interesting to discover that if I hit the right pace, I can run for a long time without a break and without using my inhaler. But even more interesting: my run/walk pace is significantly faster than my all-running pace. My miles were about 3 minutes slower than usual. And maybe I’m capable of running faster without stopping to walk, I’ll have to do more treadmill training to find out. As Kayla learned in Colca Canyon, setting small goals helps you achieve bigger ones. My goal to run the 5k today, no matter how slow, is a goal that will help me progress as a runner. Now I know that I can run a 5k without stopping, I can focus on the next goal to do it regularly, faster, with better form, whichever small goal I decide to set next.

After the 5k, Kayla and I were really over this view:


Pretty as the view is, it’s tough to run without moving forward.

So we went up to the track with Kevin and rocked out another 35 minutes of running.


I’m not sure how far we ran, but I definitely ran faster than I did on the treadmill. I ran intervals of five minutes running, one minute walking. And by the time the walk breaks came I was ready for them. There was a little league team practicing in the gym below and a bunch of guys running on the track – no women besides me and Flat Kayla.

The end of the run was really tough, especially the last ten minutes. But with my watch telling me I was almost done, Kayla cheering me on from my cubby with my inhaler and my coat, and Kevin dancing out his last minutes of running, I finished all 85 of my scheduled minutes.

Thanks Kayla!!


Do you want to be a Flat Running Buddy? Donate $50 to CCFA through my link and I’ll make you one! Donate here: http://www.active.com/donate/chicagoNATIONAL14/TCEHutton

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *