For years I have been adamant that I am not a runner, and in fact am fond of saying that I will only run if someone is chasing me…with a knife. In the last several months, I’ve had to reverse myself and am actually gearing up to run a 5K next month.
Two years ago, Miguel’s company started sponsoring a family health 5K in the fall. Since he’s a runner, he was interested in participating. At that time, pre-Squidge, I was a pretty avid walker and covered about two miles or so with the dog on a regular basis. However, I was unprepared for the sheer boredom that is a 3 point whatever mile forced death march through an uninteresting industrial area. There was no dog wrangling or home design/landscaping evaluation to distract me, making that last extra mile sheer torture. I actually jogged parts of it towards the end, just to get it over with. (And still somehow only came in third for the women walkers…for which I got a prize which I kind of felt like I cheated to get since I’d run a bit, but whatever…).
Last year cemented my hatred of walking 5Ks. Squidge was about 2 months old so I tossed him in the stroller and brought along the bjorn as a precaution. Of course, once the race started, he did not want to be in the stroller and I had to strap him into the bjorn, which slowed my pace considerably. And it took FOR.EVER. This time, I came in second to last, in front of a fat chick.
In March, there was a Shamrock Shuffle which Miguel did with friends of ours while I stayed home with Squidge. It ended at an Irish pub with kegs and eggs and they had a blast hanging out there most of the afternoon. I very much wanted to participate the next year, but didn’t think I could take doing the walk by myself, especially knowing everyone else had finished way ahead of me and was already yukking it up at the pub.
Around this same time, the weather was warming up and I was wanting to get in more outside exercise, but hated to trap Squidge in the stroller every afternoon for the 45 mins to an hour it takes to cover the two mileish circuit. The only solution to both problems was to bite the bullet, get a jogging stroller and get in a shorter, more intense workout while also getting in shape to run, not walk, the next 5K.
Like everything else exercise related, I’ve gone in fits and starts, so I’m still not ready for the 5K. At one point, I was up to running two miles, but since slacking off for a few weeks, I’ve only worked my way back up to 1.5 miles. And boy, do I not enjoy it, like, at all. There is satisfaction in it, definitely-when I realize that I’m a mile into it and my breathing is steady and my cardio endurance has improved so much from those early runs where I could barely make an 1/8 mile without panting uncontrollably, throat and lungs screaming. But really, the only thing that is keeping me going is knowing that there will be beer at the finish line…