Have you ever heard that expression to…you know…or get off the pot? (It’s early in the blog, so we’ll keep things PG for now.) Well, after months (years) of talking about it, I am finally up and running. Literally. I just signed up for my first 5K.
Now, a little bit of back story about my relationship with running is necessary. Generally, I equate it with pain, exhaustion, and my list of Things-I-Don’t-Do-Unless-Forced-By-The-Hand-Of-God. Running, to me, is best saved for when you are being chased by something scary, or maybe if there is an ice cream truck in the far distance. Running is not for fun.
My battle with running is nothing new. I joined the track and field team in middle school, but only because my father said I had to go out for a sport, and track seemed to be something I could pick up more easily than softball or lacrosse. After all, I already knew how to walk, and 12 or 13 years of practice had really sharpened those skills. How hard could picking up the pace be?
As it turns out, not so hard. I ran the mile during meets, and I regularly finished in the top 3 or so, with times of around 6:45. The problem is….I HATED IT. It wasn’t the exercise—dancing for years kept me in great shape, and I’ve never been good at sitting still for very long. It was just boring. I am not one to be alone with my thoughts, and plodding along around a track (before the birth of the iPod) was torturous. The development of plantar fascitiis in both my feet during the second season on the team proved to be a blessing. If I wanted to save my dancing feet, the running shoes would have to go out the window. Sayonara, suckers.
Since then, I’ve picked up running here and there, usually when I was too poor to pay for a gym membership, or if I was looking to lose a few pounds. Still, I’ve never stuck with it longer than a few weeks. All those years of dancing have taken a toll on my body, and my poor, arthritic joints are usually screaming “What the hell did we do to deserve this?!?!?” among other expletives, after the first mile. Now, running is not just boring, but HARD. I stick with non-impact cardio at the gym, plus my usually active lifestyle, and it’s kept me in good shape. Still, after watching Greg run a marathon and reading about all the fantastic women in the blog world who could run circles around me, I’ve decided the buck stops here. I am tired of being a spectator. I am going to become a runner. And stick with it. And maybe like it.
So that brings us to the present. Along with my friend and fellow pot-sitter Lindsay, I’ve signed up for the Liz Padilla Memorial 5K in Brooklyn on October 4th. Lindsay and I have been talking about running together since the Super Bowl, and 8 months down the road, it’s time we started. I’m using the Couch to 5K training plan, but starting with Week 4, because regularly pushing myself on the eliptical and stepper have strengthened my endurance more than I thought. I bought new shoes, I updated the iPod (note to 12-year-old me: You had NO IDEA what you were missing!), and I printed out a pretty calendar with my running workouts. I’ve got a new attitude, a race partner, a blog to hold me accountable, and a big bottle of Extra Strength Tylenol. I can DO this.
However, if you find a crumpled, cursing pile of bones on the side of the road in Queens, please pick me up and bring me home. And remind me to get back out there tomorrow.