A Crazy Idea
Back in July, buried within another post, I mentioned this crazy idea I had to maybe, possibly train to run a 5K. A little backstory…
A couple of months prior, I’d approached a local business I frequent, Mothers & Company, with the idea of a 5K to benefit a local non-profit organization, Abby’s House, which provides emergency shelter, long-term housing, and supportive services for homeless and battered women and children. MoCo then partnered with the wonderful business owners with whom it shares the building to co-sponsor this fab event.
So why did I want to run a 5K?
I’ve never been a runner. I pretty much suck at running. Oh, and I really dislike it. I remember needing to keep in shape for basketball during off-seasons in high school. My dad (my own dad!) commented that I’d probably have more luck if someone ran ahead of me dribbling a basketball. Nice dad. But he was so very right.
So why then? You ever just feel like there’s something you should be able to do but you can’t (or haven’t) and it really just irritates you? That’s why I wanted to try. At least try.
Friends told me about the Couch to 5K running plan, and I figured this was my chance. I mean, Couch and I are tight. If this program could put a little distance between the two of us, I’d be impressed. What did I have to lose? I mean, Couch would always be there for me, and it wasn’t as if I was prepared for a complete break. We could totally still be friends.
So I tried it. And I (somehow) managed to complete the first four weeks of the nine-week program. Me?!
Then I started hurting. Bad. Knees, hip, even my friggin’ feet! Turns out Couch and I were closer than I’d imagined. I’ll spare you the details, but a good PT eval, an even better pair of new kicks, and a lot of rest (shucks, Couch, I’d missed you) made all the difference. But I’d lost so much time. And felt so discouraged.
I started training with a friend, waking at absurd — I think this post doubles as my “This Week in Absurdity” post — hours to hit the gym, and even attempting the course twice. I increased my workouts — Couch to 5K on speed. But even having tried the course, I couldn’t make it the whole way without walking some of the hills.
I can’t walk. I won’t walk. I have to jog the whole race. I tried telling myself it’d be okay if I walked. That the whole point was to try. That I’d never run this much in my life. At one time. Without stopping. And that this was for Abby’s House. I repeated It’s okay if you walk at least a hundred times to myself, but another hundred times I said You have to do this. This was your idea, genius.
And then race day came. You have to do this. You might be thinking this was just a silly 5K so what’s the big deal? And you know what, you’re right. Sort of. It was just a 5K. There would be others (maybe). But this one was important to me, and I knew I could do it if I just focused. There was a moment while tackling one of the hills when I thought Do this for Boo, thinking it would motivate me. Call me a crappy mom, but just as quickly, I thought Screw that. Do this for you, dammit. And do it for women and children who don’t have a safe place to call home. Your aching legs are squat compared to that. So keep going, crankypants.
You know what? I did.
Holy crap, I did. The whole thing. And it was so fun. And amazing. And worth it. Several people had told me that race day is different, and I’d hoped that the energy of the day and of those around me would keep me going. Did it ever.
In the process, almost $10K was raised for Abby’s House. That rocks!
Mad props to those cheerleaders pictured above. They pretty much rock, too.
For more information about the race, the dedicated folks who made it happen, and for additional pics, check out Momma Wisdom, the blog of Mothers & Company.