I once made it through a third of Day One of Couch to 5k. As in, I was taking a walk, ran for a minute, then only ever walked the rest of the time. And never ran again.
I was running at the gym for a while. But running at a good clip for a half hour on the treadmill apparently only = running one block and then wanting to die when out of the gym. So fuck it. I take a long walk once a week.
I had signed up to do an AIDS walk/run this weekend. I was walking, because, obviously, 5k of running would be embarrassing and bad. So yesterday morning, I made my journey south, to a great little beach town. I got there and registered and got to hang around for an hour. Which would have been more fun if I hadn’t come an hour early, hadn’t been alone, and there had been a single heterosexual man under 40 there. But I killed time by knitting by the beach and joining a fun impromptu yoga group.
Then it was time to start. They had us all line up to start, and runners and walkers were all lining up at the same spot, doing the same course, starting at the same time. I was fully planning to walk this, because I have the lung function of my 78 year old recently finished with radiation for lung cancer grandmother.
Then everyone took off running.
I figure, ok, I’ll run up to the ramp (like 30 feet away) with the pack and then walk. And I was happy and people were cheering me on and I had my ipod on (playing BILLY JOEL) and I was pumped. So I kept pushing.
I RAN THE WHOLE FUCKING THING.
Now, as I said, this was NOT the plan. Which means that I ran 5k in skinny jeans and ballet flats. On an empty stomach. After having french fries for dinner the night before. And no training. Ever. My time was 33:20.
I realize this was very, very stupid. But IT FELT SO GOOD.
Well, mostly. It also felt like my shoulder was covered in my own spit as I tried to dispose of excess mucus while still running, and like nap time could be awesome right now. And like running on sand is a whole new level of horrible.
But it also felt like I was a fucking god. People cheered me on. I passed other runners. Someone complimented my hair. A child handed me water. When I would let myself have a walking break I was back into a jog in a minute. Because I was fucking PUMPED.
There is no way in hell I could have built up to this. I had to just be in the moment and make it happen. I’m either all in or not involved. There couldn’t have been a little light jogging and then a long walk. Go big or go home, that’s how I have to do everything. And if my body was in the mode to run with it (heh), well, I was happy to oblige.
Surprisingly, I don’t want to die today. I whimper a little when I stand up, but it’s gotten better throughout the day.
And obviously, I immediately bought running shoes.