A couple of years ago, I got connected with a ministry in Denver that caters to people living with HIV and AIDS. The founder spoke at our church one Sunday, told his story of what it was like to live with AIDS, how it came into his life, and how he wants to help others. That May, they sponsored a 5k run/walk and needed volunteers. So my friends and I decided to help with the event and cheer on our friend who was running the race to qualify for the Bolder Boulder. I had zero intention of running that day, until we got an email the night before saying that they had plenty of volunteers, but encouraged everyone to attend and run or walk.
So we showed up at City Park bright and early at 5:30 am. It was cold and rainy and looking to be a pretty miserable day over all. Alissa wasn’t quite 2, so I had her in the stroller and figured that I could walk with her and my friends and we’d have a good time. Until that day, I never even knew that a 5k is only 3.1 miles.
In 5th grade, our school had a track meet. We all had to participate as it was part of our PE class. My events: 100m dash, 100m hurdles, high jump. I took first in the running events and 5th in the high jump. My classmates said I looked like a deer trying to clear that stupid pole. Grace and dignity are not my forte. In sixth grade, I traded out the high jump for the 400m dash and 200m hurdles. I placed first or second in all four events. Track was actually kind of fun!
In high school, I was determined to clock a 15 minute mile, but by then, my lungs didn’t want to cooperate as much. Running a half mile was about all I could muster before I wanted to keel over dead. I’d walk the last half mile and spend the next two hours wheezing. I was definitely a short-distance girl. I never went out for track – the idea of a stadium full of people watching me trip on a hurdle terrified me, so I went out for softball instead.
The track coach watched me running sprints at practice one afternoon and told me she wanted me on the track team. I should have listened. Not only can I not hit a ball, I can’t really catch or throw one either. I spent the first half of the season on the bench, and the last half in the bleachers, after taking a swinging bat to the elbow during practice one afternoon, which severely bruised my bone and muscle. Mrs. Smith, I’m sorry. You were right. I belonged with the runners. Bad lungs and all.
I like to run. It brings me joy. It’s relaxing to my mind and good for my body. Sure, the asthma thing makes it tough, but I manage. I am still not a distance runner though, and that was the reason for this goal. I don’t want to walk a 5k. I want to run it. So I am employing the Couch to 5k program and getting my butt in gear. If I can stick to the plan (which means running even when the wind is blowing 50 mph), I should be ready to go in ten weeks. So I’ll be fit to run one in the dead of summer. Yeah, that’s the plan. Plus, I have gained 25 (yep, you read that right – TWENTY FIVE) pounds since one year ago. No wonder none of my clothes fit any more.
Does anyone have some music they recommend I throw on ye olde iPod that I can run to? If so, please leave it in a comment below!