I ran.

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I have never claimed to be athletic. Or even just an exerciser. Because I’m neither of those things. But this past Saturday I ran a 5K. AND LIVED.

Earlier this year my sister started running. I’ve always wanted to be a runner. I’ve always wanted to run a 5K. But you know how you say you’re going to start running Monday, and then you get a cold, and you decide to wait? And then you discover it’s not really a cold, it’s allergies? And then the baby’s so cranky you can’t sneak away? And then you’re so swamped with work you have zero time for yourself? And before you know it, six months have passed and you still don’t run? No? Just me? Fair enough.

A couple of months ago, my sister said something along the lines of “I’m going to come visit you and run a 5K, and you should run it with me.” Only I still didn’t run. But I had 9 weeks. I could turn myself into a runner in 9 weeks, right? There’s something about a deadline, because I started running the next day. And when I say “running” I mean I walked really fast and sometimes I ran a little. I was using a Couch to 5K app (I was the definition of couch), and I just tried to run every time the nice lady told me to run, and not stop until she said I could stop. I made progress. I started being able to run for longer periods of time. But I also realized that wasn’t going to be quite enough time for me to get into 5K shape. And a couple weeks before the race, I got a headache. For a week. When I had tried to run with a bit of a headache before, I got a migraine. So I didn’t risk it.

Long story short (too late! {name that movie!}), I still wasn’t ready to run a 5K when it rolled around. But, good news! It turns out it was a 5K run/WALK. I knew if nothing else, I could walk that far. My biggest concern was actually overheating. Because I have issues. Captain America says I can get overheated sitting next to a lamp, and it’s true. So true. As a matter of fact, during one of my “training runs” I got completely overheated. RUNNING ON AN INDOOR TRACK. WITH AIR CONDITIONING. Good news again! The forecast was for mid-60s at race time, and cloudy.

I got some good peptalks from former non-runner, Jersey. He was incredibly insistent that I hydrate-hydrate-hydrate the day before. And I did. So much hydrating. So much water. So much peeing. I thought there was no way I could overheat. Barely 70 degrees. No sun. Even a little rain. So much water in my system.

We arrived at the race in plenty of time. Had another potty break (so much water!). Got my tshirt! I ate some weird gummy thing that my sister told me to eat. Because I’m a little sister. “Eat this.” Ok! I got my ultimate 5K running playlist, courtesy of Captain America, all set to go. I told him I needed at least 45 minutes. But to give me an hour in case I had to walk a lot more. I mean, I still couldn’t run a mile straight through, so I knew it’d take me a while. It started to rain. And then it mostly stopped. And then the gun went off. My sister & nephew took off, and I started following a small child. I knew I shouldn’t burn myself out, so I walked after not too long. And watched the kid pull away. But that was fine, because I had a goal to finish. That’s it. And a super awesome playlist to listen to. I did what I could. I ran. I walked. People clapped (that was fun – I’m usually a clapper, not a runner). And then there was a hill. Like, a big one. Because we were running in the bluffs. I said to the lady at the top, “It’s all downhill from here, right?” And she said no. Somewhere around 2.5 miles, I started to get hot. Like, face on fire hot. The rest of me was plenty cool, but my face was HOT. (Because I don’t sweat. And I don’t mean “I glow.” I mean I don’t really sweat. Which means my poor body can’t cool itself off. You know those big sweaty armpit rings? I’ve never had them. Sweatbands? Don’t need ’em. Aside from a pink face, I looked the same at the end as the start. I guess if I’m going to be an exerciser, I’ll have to get that figured out.) So I walked a little more. Ran some. Walked a little more. Thought unkind thoughts about the people who’d already finished and were now running around because three miles just wasn’t enough. Eventually, I turned a corner and saw my little family, and my sister and my nephews. My fan club started cheering for me, and I thought, “Shoot, I’m supposed to be running.” So I ran. And I finished! I thought it would take 45 minutes if I was lucky, and I did it in 41:32. Yay me!

Sure, some kid finished it in 17 minutes. But you know what? I beat the lady carrying her sleeping baby. And a few other people. I eventually passed the kid who left me in the dust when we started. And I got the same tshirt as the kid who finished first. Good enough for me. Maybe I’ll even do it again. You know, when it’s cold out.

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2 responses »

  1. Can’t wait for the race where’s there’s a bag of apples!! Do you think “Run to the Edge” means the edge of a bluff? Will we be able to stop or will it be like those bison hunts where they drive them into a pit?

  2. Pingback: Cyberspace and the 5K « At Least We Know

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