Ten years ago my father got an invite to run a 5K with a group at his office. True to form, he said sure and showed up one cold morning and ran 3.1 miles having never run before. After this run he was hooked. Since then he has run countless 5 and 10k races, a handful of half and full marathons and, I believe, 10 ultra marathons on mountain terrain. My dad is a bad-ass and inspires me daily!
I have wanted to be a runner for years. People look like they are having so much fun at the crack of dawn running with groups of other runners. Lots of my friends are runners and I envy their hobby and the great body that comes with it. Despite all this, I have never become a runner. Running scares me. It hurts. It is sweaty. While seasoned runners look great taking a quick hour-long jaunt through the neighborhood, new runners look terrible. Red faced, wheezing people with midsections that jiggle with each labored step. I just can’t bring myself to do it.
For the past few weeks I have seen a 5K advertised benefiting the YMCA. All funds raised from the race will go to helping needy children attend summer camp. Having never been to summer camp myself, I find this to be a really noble cause. I hear great stories about camp and want all kids, especially those who may not always have the best role models, to have this chance. My spin buddy announced at Wednesday’s class that she would not be spinning on Friday because she was running a 5K on Saturday.
“Is it the one for the YMCA?” I asked.
“Yup. You should come!” she said.
“Oddly, I was considering it. I have never ran before, but my dad started out having never run either. Maybe I will…”
My friend urged me to sign up. It would be fun, she promised. And running is great! And I’m already in pretty good shape. I can totally do this.
So I registered that night, donating an additional $5 to a cause I feel good about.
Saturday morning I woke up, made some healthy Qunioa Muffins, cleaned my kitchen, dug out my warmest exercise clothing and then went to run my first 5K in 20 degree weather.
And y’all… I did it! And it did not completely suck. Actually, quite the contrary. It was hard, and I sure hurt the next day, but I finished the race and for the first time since infertility “happened” I felt in control of something. I accomplished a goal I have had for years.
Granted, I did not run 100% of it, but I ran about 75%. And I finished 18th in my age group (out of 48 still fertile aged women) at 33 minutes and 9 seconds. I even passed people while I was running, granted, a lot of them were MUCH older than I am, but I don’t care. The competitive woman in me got a kick out of every pair of sneakers I left in the dust.
And I’m proud of this.
Tell me, do you guys run? Any tips for the running newbie?