The 5K Challenge
I must be nuts. I just entered a 5K. I ran a 10K 22 years and probably 130 pounds ago, but that was 22 years and a 130 pounds ago. I did this because I’m not unique, I need motivation. And this will be a motivation.
You’d think wanting to be healthy for your newborn daughter would be enough — and I thought it would be. It wasn’t. There’s too many things in the way — a diaper change, work, a bottle, sleep — all the excuses anyone can think of providing. I’ve thought of all of them and more. I’ve rationalized and done everything else. This is my latest attempt at motivation.
The 5K is May 4, 2013. By that time I’ll be 37 and hopefully I won’t be 275 pounds.
My New Year’s resolution was to run a 5K in 2012 and even downloaded a couch-to-5K app for my iPhone. I’ve got the couch part down pat, but that’s about it.
That’s why I’m giving myself some time — yes, seven months should be more than ample time to get my fat ass from the couch to a 5K, but I don’t know that the goal is the important thing, or the time is, but just that it’s something I want to do.
One of the reasons I chose that particular 5K is because it’s the same weekend that my sister will be in town to run the half-marathon part of the race. I can’t tell you how proud I am of my sister. She’s five years older than I am and about five (or maybe more) years ago, she became a runner. She’d done the gym thing for a while and then started running. She loved it and loved the sanctioned events even more. A couple of years ago, she wanted to run a certain tag-team half-marathon because she loved the medal, but she needed a running partner. She went through her friends and couldn’t find anyone and then she went to my friends and that’s where she found Ginger. Ginger is Lee’s wife, and Ginger is one of the more amazing people you’ll ever meet. She’s game for anything, will try it and give it her best. For some reason, my sister got Ginger involved, which got Lee involved, which led to this here website.
Since then I’ve had to listen to more and more people talk about running. And I’ve never been a runner. In high school football and baseball, I dreaded running portions. I remember the “double loop” in junior high football and dreading it. I mocked the cross country runners in high school, but yet I’d run some because I had to for the sports I played. As I got older, it’s been easier to push all of that aside. And the results, the results aren’t pretty.
Luckily, I’ve listened to friends — and friends I’d considered less athletic than myself (which may or may not be true, it’s just I had more interest in sports and had played more growing up, so it had to be true, right?) talk about running and how much they enjoyed it. These are people I never would have guessed enjoyed it, but they do. I’ve also seen how it’s transformed their bodies. I’m jealous — jealous of their fun, jealous of their commitment, jealous of their results and jealous of their community. They’re my age and they can get in better shape, have more energy and share fitness with their children. That’s a wonderful thing. So, in the end, I don’t want to be left out. I want to be able to do this — even if I runt his one race and never run another, I want to be able to say I did it. I also can’t wait to see my sister’s face (so if you’re reading this and know her, please don’t tell her — and yes, she’s so low-tech she’s unlikely to stumble upon this) when I tell her what I’m doing that weekend.
We’ll see, it should be, at the very least, interesting.
One week later
OK, so, apparently the $25 bucks registration wasn’t the magical motivator I thought it may be to start, but I did just start — just not as soon as I’d like.
So the first run? Brutal, but I survived. At one point, the woman on the app I’m using, Get Running, told me I was a third of the way through. I called her a bad, bad name. Sorry mom. Like, really bad. For today, the first run, it had me do a five-minute warmup, followed by eight one-minute long running periods with a 90 seconds between each. Yes, it’s sad that I’ve been in such bad shape that this was a challenge, but it was, albeit one I was able to accomplish.
I started the run with my dog, because I thought he’d enjoy it. I forgot, of course, he likes to take the scenic route and sniff everything and, well, his breakfast had ample time to digest, so luckily there was a pause button during one of my walking periods that I had to use to pick up after him. That of course, meant I spent a couple of run periods with a bag of poop in my hand, as well as my iPhone and his leash. At that point, I turned around and headed back toward home. From there, I was able to use one walk period to get to my trash can and then put him inside.
The last half of my run periods I began thinking about my shoes. I’ve always had a thing for shoes, and enjoyed specialty shoes for just nearly activity. I own running shoes that I’ve used for my daily needs for the last year. They likely need to be upgraded if I’m continuing this. They’re a year old and I bought them because I thought they looked nice. And they do. I’m sure my wife will buy this justification. Of course, now I’m thinking how many weeks into this course must I go before I can justify that purchase.
The other thing I thought about — because, like shoes, I like gear-type stuff — was a case for my iPhone. What are the suggestions folks out there have for the types of cases for iPhones. This question, though, is tougher to answer since later this week I will be getting a new, bigger iPhone.
These thoughts, though were able to occupy my mind as I got through run sections seven and eight, and even though I was more shuffling than running by the end of the eighth run segment, I was happy I was able to get through it.
One thing I noticed was that even though I usually walk at a pretty brisk pace and run very slowly (even in my younger days, I was the slowest runner around and even slower than I should be), by running in a familiar area around my house, I was able to see how much more quickly I did cover ground while running (or whatever it is I was doing). That may seem like a small thing, but it was big to let me know that I was doing something better than walking, more productive than walking. It also let me know that when I do walk, and just walk, I really need to make my route larger, I thought what I was walking was good enough and it’s not.
I’m not real good at following through with these things, that’s why I’m here. I want to be able to do this, and this accountability may help. But not as much as the beer.