Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs: A Freaking 10K?

Anyone who knows me knows I am NOT a runner, or an exerciser. Not by choice anyway (if a wasp crosses my path, watch out, I'm a runnin!)... But I've always said I hate running. I don't know why anyone would want to run. Ever. I have never had a "runner's high", and the whole idea just seemed stupid to me. Like, you just put on sneakers and... run away and back again? WHY?

Until the Spring of this year, when a challenge was laid down by my younger (more athletic) sister to the rest of my family: participate in the Bluenose Marathon weekend in Halifax.

After laughing my head off for a good 2 minutes, I decided... maybe I would consider doing the 5K event. After all, it wasn't a REAL race. I could certainly walk the entire thing if I wanted to, and maybe if I actually trained (hahahah) I could run some of it? Maybe? It might give me a reason to get off my butt and do something other than sit on the couch and avoid eye contact with the treadmill in the corner... Plus it would mean I could participate in my sister's "Pasta Village" event, which included wine. I decided... I was IN.

I'm not going to lie: in the weeks leading up to the event, I tried to come up with reasons I would not be able to participate. Hamstrings? Torn... something? Um... Sick kids? I couldn't come up with anything that would fly... so I bit the bullet, and got my butt on the treadmill a few times. It wasn't horrible. Again... I am NOT a runner, and never have been. But, I gave it a go, and It.Wasn't.Horrible. Truth be told, I kind of loved the feeling of accomplishment I'd get on the days where I'd be heading to work, already having been on the treadmill for 20-30 minutes that morning. "Oh, no big deal, I already worked out today." Yeah, that's pretty cool.

Now, I never did get to the point where I could run a full 5K. By the time the event weekend came around, I was able to do about 5 minutes running and 1-2 walking. I'm not winning any road races here, but not terrible. I did keep telling myself if it came down to it, I could just walk the whole 5K and nobody would care. Plus I was doing this with my 64-year-old mother who, while one of the toughest cookies I know, is also not what you'd call a 'runner'. However, she got it in her head that she wanted to better her previous 5K time (that's right -- after never exercising basically a day in her life she'd suddenly up and decided to do the occasional 5K - you GO girl!!), and so what I thought would be a fairly leisurely pace turned into my own mother yelling, "What's our time??" and then pushing my sister and I to GIV'ER! Amazing! And, honestly... IT WASN'T HORRIBLE! Dare I say it... it was actually *gulp* FUN.

In the end, my time was 43:31... and even though I was thrilled with that, it wasn't the best part. The best part was: I completed a 5K event, people. The energy and excitement around the event and the weekend was electric. I finally "got it": I finally understood why anyone would put sneakers on and just... go run. Despite my own pessimism and steadfast refusal to admit it... I was feeling this running thing.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, when a group of online friends were talking about the Disney Princess Marathon weekend in February. Again... I laughed. First of all, it's in Florida, and I am far away from Florida. Also, refer back to sentence #1: I'm not a runner. (I have not been on the treadmill or any other form of running since the Bluenose... oopsie.) But... Maybe...?

I hummed and hawed, and then registration day came around. Like a giddy teenager scoring concert tickets for their favourite band, I furiously refreshed my browser 400 times and then felt a rush of excitement as I got through, and was suddenly registered for a 10K.


So... there you have it. Now I actually have to train, because this isn't just a 5K walk in my home town... we are taking a family vacation to Florida so I can put on a ridiculous costume (Oh yes! That's the best part, you race in costumes!!) and run 10K. And for some insane reason... I am actually excited about this.

Here we go.