That’s what I used to tell people when asked if I “run.”
What follows is a post that I began writing some weeks ago. It was intended to be light, and funny. But then stuff happened, and I’m not getting into that here. You know all about it, unless you’ve been living off of the grid or under a rock. Essentially, I found the post to seem trite and silly and bandwagon-y after the fact. I wasn’t going to post it.
I changed my mind. Here it is…..
I’ve been working on Couch to 5K for almost three years…. If you aren’t already familiar, this is the program (abbreviated C25K) that is supposed to get you from couch potato to a 5K in 9 weeks, or something like that.
The program itself is really quite effective if you stick to it. Obviously, I didn’t. There were enormous gaps in training. I often skipped weeks, even months, so the program cannot be blamed for my exceedingly slow progress.
Finally, this past Thanksgiving, my sister convinced me to register for a 5k “fun run”. I ran it…
That’s a lie. I totally walked half of it. But, it inspired me to register for a few 5K in the spring.
Recently, I ran another 5K… With Frances the dog. She does run with me sometimes… Sometimes as in, once a month on deserted streets, where the only distraction is the occasional squirrel. I’m not sure why I thought that bringing her to a 5K was a great idea. Lots of people, lots of dogs, lots of exciting things to see and smell. So even though she heels relatively well, it was all too overwhelming to expect her to run in an orderly fashion… Anything resembling a straight line would have been grand. My shoulder was stiff from trying to reign her in. Dogs are competitive by nature. Frances believes that if a dog passes her, she is obligated to give chase… Which is great, except that she is attached to a leash which is attached to me… And I am neither obligated nor capable of catching that faster dog. I’m just trying to finish.
Fortunately, as she (and I) tired, it became easier to keep her moving forward at a reasonable speed. We finished. But next time, I’m leaving her home.
So what have I learned about running? All the things that my running friends have said were true. (I recognize that I just lost half of you, the half that are squarely in the “Only if someone is chasing me” category. That’s cool. I get it. I was there yesterday.) When I get to run, my mood is better, my head is clearer,I have more energy and the world seems to be a better place. There’s the added bonus of being fitter than I have been in years. In fact, I can’t find a down side…. except possibly the fact that I get pretty darn grumpy if I miss an opportunity to run.
I won’t break any speed records (ever, I was, quite literally, passed by a guy in a wheelchair being pulled by 2 huskies at my last 5k), and I won’t go any impressive distances (Hey, I only just got to a point where I can run 5k without needing a gurney)… heck, I’m still not comfortable calling myself a runner. I run. I’m not sure when I’ll get to be a runner. But until then, I’ve found something that makes me a better me… at least for now.
If you’re thinking about running, there are a ton of resources available, although my personal favorites are the people I already know and love (my sisters and my friends) and the Another Mother Runner website.